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”I have seen the men of my neighbourhood die doing this. They have slowly vanished in the sewer one after the other. One goes and the other follows. I saw Ravi die in front of me.”
In Pakistan, descendants of lower-caste Hindus who converted to Christianity centuries ago still find themselves marginalized, relegated to dirty jobs and grim fates.
Indian waste pickers are struggling to obtain information or equipment to inform and protect them during the coronavirus pandemic. Thomson Reuters has run this article by IDSN Ambassador Aidan McQuade and IDSN’s Ritwajit Das, looking at the current challenges faced by Dalit waste pickers in India. While this article looks at India, similar situations are found in other South Asian countries.
Born into a Dalit family that had been engaged in manual scavenging for generations, Bezwada Wilson channelled the outrage that stemmed from witnessing the injustice faced by his community to launch a movement to end this abhorrent practice. India Development review details this story on the Feminism in India platform.
In the last five years of the Modi government, there has been no movement even on assistance and rehabilitation of manual scavengers. In fact, in the interim budget, the Centre has reduced by more than half the allocation for rehabilitating manual scavengers.