The Invisible Manual Scavengers of India

  • Shashwata Sahu
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  • Shashwata Sahu

    LLM student at KIIT School of Law, India.

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The act of another individual picking up human excreta with his or her hands is known as Manual Scavenging. It's used in the cleaning of dry latrines and septic tanks. Manual scavengers clean the excreta with hand apparatuses like pails, brushes, and digging tools, and they rarely wear personal protective equipment. Untouchability and manual scavenging go hand in hand and are the most distinct results of the caste system. The caste system's brutal cruelty means that everyone who comes close to an untouchable becomes an untouchable. Despite the fact that manual scavengers are members of the Dalit community, Dalit groups have never advocated for their liberation due to casteist beliefs and patriarchal views. The caste system encourages people to believe that all filthy work belongs to Dalits. As a result, not just the ruling feudal castes, but also those Dalit castes that do not scavenge, no longer consider manual scavengers to be humans. Nobody wanted to stare at the dreadful misery that surrounded them. Everyone wanted to close their eyes, put their handkerchiefs over their noses, and deny the existence of this unseen world of manual scavengers. In reality, they would rather be unnoticed. It is quite depressing to observe that such practises persist in India after 74 years of freedom. This paper seeks to understand the dehumanizing practice of manual scavenging in India. This paper will also propose corrective methods and constructive strategies for integrating the scavenging community into our country's mainstream and making a substantial contribution to its growth.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 1, Page 2115- 2127


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