Still Developing

Politicians, teachers and your grandparents, everyone talks about how rich a culture India has, how we have a history that dates way back in time. Unfortunately, our mindsets along with our country are stuck there-way back in time.  114 years. Even after a 114 years we have dry lavatories, we still have people whose job is to clean them, we still have so many miserable lives with an untouchability tag attached to them to make their life worse if that were possible.

A bill was passed in 1993 but was ineffective. Only in February 2013 Delhi became the first state to formally announce the ban on manual scavenging and pressed on the requirement on sanitary latrines.

Manual Scavenging

Anyone who is born in the scavengers’ society is bound to be a scavenger. They are not given a choice. A choice to choose their way of life, to stop the society from taking away their dignity. People say that for a man who drinks everyday and beats up his wife, he deserves that. No one deserves something like that. Alcohol is their only way to forget what they do and to continue to do it. Can you blame them? The very thought of manual scavenging is disgusting us beyond words. Imagine their situation.

They are trying to maintain certain hygiene in their area at the cost of their own. They are not provided with any kind of protective gear and yet they continue to do it, to make both ends meet. Instead of stopping something like this from happening, their self respect is snatched away, mocked at, played with and all this is defended. Defended by the caste system, yet denied by it when it comes to reservations. These are the people that need to be given a chance. They are the repressed and suppressed sections of the society whose cause has to be fought for. Justice delayed is justice denied but better late than never. Their rehabilitation should be the governments’ first priority. It’s not time to give them a ray of hope but a path of light, of life.

With such practices still in existence we are far away from even being called a developing country. Let us learn to love our people first, then our possessions. Only through the eyes of such a person will caste systems, unfair reservations and such practices seem unjust. Till then, there will always be people defending the blatantly wrong system.

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