Hyderabad: The practise of manual scavenging has been going on unnoticed in some pockets of the country, a group of women manual scavengers from Nagpur, Maharashtra, who were engaged in the occupation, said.
The women narrated their stories during a visit to Hyderabad-based National Institute Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR). They are attending a three-day exposure-cum-training programme on ‘Alternative Livelihood Opportunities’.
The training was aimed at women who have left manual scavenging with the help of ‘Janjagriti Aawahan Bahuuddeshiya Samiti’, an organisation working to uplift manual scavengers in Nagpur. The women belonged to Mehtar (Bhangi) community that used to take up the cleaning of toilets.
During the course of the event, the women were exposed to diversified livelihood options so that they can learn the required skills and start their own works. “To eliminate manual scavenging from society it is necessary that the MS Act 2013 and Swachh Bharat mission is implemented in its true spirit. The manual scavengers should have the easy access to diverse livelihoods skills options suited to their needs,” said Dr Lakhan Singh, Course Director, Centre for Human Resource Development (CHRD), School of Development Studies and Social Justice, NIRDPR.