Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Thursday, July 03, 2008

don't shit me

i had first written about manual scavenging a year or so ago here.
there was a whiff of news around the fact that the authorities were moving ahead (albeit slowly) with doing away with this demeaning and illegal practice.

a year later, there is definitive progress by the Safai Karmachari Andolan. they have fought hard and are ready to declare andhra pradesh as the first manual scavenging-free state in India. as an epithet - it sounds ludicrous, but what an achievement.

read this story - 'we will never clean shit again'.


Vanessa said...

csm, just the article gave me nausea. Unfathomable.
Have never ever read anything more disgusting.

csm said...

was scoping a BMC conservancy workers Colony near VT, where we started a center for their kids.
i was talking to the young boys and they said that there is no male in their community over 50. all die via liver failure due to drinking on the job. all the boys take up their dads job (available to them as the men die in service) as it is permanent and allows them to continue in the same place (it is rented quarters).
it is a tough life and perhaps education could be the passport out of this misery (not sure of the bombay folks though).

Vanessa said...

Its not fair to compare, but these are the kind of news here - e.g

1. On a hot summer day (high 37), different clips of sunny afternnons, a clip of school children sitting in a class and a table fan. The commentator says "There is no A/c in this school. Poor kids have to make do with just one fan"

2. There is a lady who is broke. She used to donate to charities, but now she herself gets her food supply from charities. Then the video of her going to the charity in her car, taking the food supplies, cans and all. Then she and her son arranging the supplies
on their kitchen shelf.

You get the idea.

Thats the extent of misery, can u believe it? I feel jealous, i wish we had such misery in India.

csm said...

as you say it is unfair.
usually the degree of misery on experiences is based on comparatives and not absolutes.
i think getting used to anything (aka getting comfortable) is the most miserable state.

but my effort(s) was not to highlight the 'misery' of the manual scavengers or the musahars, etc.
it is the impunity of our country, its constitution, its judiciary and its society to allow such outlawed activities to be carried out (sometimes in the very premises which outlawed them) which bothers me and i choose to write.