10,000 km long Maila Mukti Yatra reaches Hyderabad to eradicate manual scavenging

By TCN News,

Hyderabad: The caravan of 65 men and women, aimed at eradicating manual scavenging, the national Maila Mukti Yatra (rally to eradicate manual scavenging) has reached Hyderbad on December 25.

With a nationwide call for total eradication of manual scavenging practice, National Maila Mukti Yatra started from Bhopal on 30th November 2012. Through the yatra, they have been successful in ‘liberating’ hundreds of women manual scavengers in different parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa.

Activists of the Yatra

Through the campaign, GarimaAbhiyan (movement for pride)had organized community meetings in Vizayanagram, Vijayawada and Hyderabad; and identified 1000 workers in Vizayanagram and approximately 1500 in Vijayawada and 2000 Hyderabad those who are still engaged in the manual scavenging practice (clearing septic tank and railway tracks).

Although manual scavenging was banned legally two decades ago, the practice is sadly still prevalent in the country.

According to the Census of India 2011, there are still 7,94,390 dry latrines in the country, where the human excreta are cleaned up by humans. Importantly, 21025 dry latrines exists in Andhra Pradesh where human excreta cleaned up by manual Scavengers; 63,074 are such dry latrines where night soil serviced by animal and 1,61,196 dry latrines where night soil is disposed into drain.

However, Garima Abhiyan claimed even such dry latrines are cleaned by workers involved in manual scavenging. Therefore, at present in Andhra Pradesh state there are 2,45,295 dry latrines where manual scavenging practice continues.

According to the activists of Maila Mukti Yatra this practice violates human rights of people involved in cleaning night soil. Since last one decade Garima Abhiyan is trying to eradicate this inhuman practice with various initiatives. Garima Abhiyan have been successfully eradicated this inhuman practice in many locations of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Through the campaign efforts more than 11,000 Dalit women (manual scavengers) has been liberated from this inhuman practice.

Ashif Sheikh cordinator of the Yatra spekaing at the press confrence

Continuance of such inhuman practice is violation of ‘The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993’ and other relevant legislations. Therefore Maila Mukti Yatra is striving to generate community awareness for speedy elimination of manual scavenging practice across India and liberate men and women those are compelled to carry out such inhuman work.

After Hyderabad this yatra will reach Chennai on 29th December via Kurnool and Cuddapha. After that Yatra will move to Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana with covering 18 States, 200 districts while travelling 10,000 kilometer, Yatra will be culminated on January 31, 2013 at New Delhi.