September 11, 2016
Despite numerous petitions from activists and court orders, manual scavenging continues to thrive in Coimbatore city, as one such incident was reported from a neighbourhood near Singanallur recently.
The image, which was circulated on Facebook, raised eyebrows as even after the Corporation introducing machines for scavenging, men seem to be engaged.
Reacting to the incident, D. Naga Saila, Advocate and Member of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), said that unless the Government implements policy-level changes and spends enough, such incidents would continue. “We see every now and then manual scavenging happening in one place or the other. But what have we done to stop them? The Government has not spent enough to bring positive changes in the issue,” she said.
She further added that the fault was with the authorities, as the problem still persisted despite the growth of technology.
“We have high pressure pumps and all the required technology. But if the Government comes forward to spend on them, manual scavenging could become history,” she opined.
Another activist, A. Manoj from Coimbatore, claimed that the issue was happening because of the lethargy of the supervisors, who fail to make sure that sanitary workers use the right equipment during such activities.
“One such incident happened inside the court complex recently and the engineer reportedly said that it was a small work and hence did not need any technical equipment,” another activist said.
The officials of the Health Department were unavailable for comments.