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Dying to clean india's sewer holes

Last update: 05/10/2018
By Shakir Husain

Bernama's correspondent in New Delhi, Shakir Husain, shares his take on the happenings in India.

NEW DELHI (Bernama) -- For almost half of his life, 33-year-old Virender has done a menial job that was traditionally assigned to people like him by India's caste-based Hindu social hierarchy.

Virender belongs to a caste of the most downtrodden Dalit group in the world's second most populous country and has little hope of overcoming the conditions of his birth in his lifetime.

It does not mean he lacks a desire to break free from the system that has condemned him to cleaning sewers manually. 

Caste discrimination is illegal in India but you can see it has social acceptance.

Virender, along with hundreds of sanitation workers and their family members, joined a protest march in New Delhi on Sept 25 to demand an end to outdated work practices.

About 1,800 workers have lost their lives, including dozens in Delhi, in the last few years due to dangerous work conditions, according to the Safai Karamchari Andolan (sanitation workers' movement).....


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