World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Authorities feign ignorance about dead manual scavenger

INDIA: Authorities feign ignorance about dead manual scavenger


The Asian Human Rights Commission has learned about the death of Pawan, a sanitation worker who died while cleaning sewerage in Chauka Ghat, Varanasi, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. As per news reports, Pawan entered a manhole without protective gear. This occurred despite the practice of manual cleaning of human excreta, in any form or place, having been outlawed by the Supreme Court.

On 27 March 2014, the Supreme Court of India imposed a categorical ban on anyone entering, or being forced to enter, manholes, unless there is an emergency. Even in times of exigency, such manual cleaning of human excreta can now only be permitted with the written approval of a Chief Executive Officer and with all protective gears in place. Furthermore, the Supreme Court has ordered all provincial governments to strictly enforce the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, and to take immediate measures to eradicate manual scavenging.

Pawan's death, which follows 3 similar deaths in the state of Gujarat, belittles hopes raised by the verdict. The verdict, for the first time, puts command responsibility of such a death on the Chief Executive Officer (or the equivalent post) and institutes compensation of Rupees 10 lakh in the case of such an eventuality.

However, forget accepting the command responsibility fixed by the Supreme Court, the authorities even feign ignorance even about how the deceased worker was associated with sewerage work when alerted by media and other sanitation workers. The criminal disdain that government officials have for the orders of the higher judiciary betrays itself further in the mandate given to the one member inquiry committee constituted by the General Manager. The committee has been mandated to look into how Pawan was associated with such work and to inquire which contractor/department served as his employer. A committee with such a limited mandate can only be expected to present an eyewash report for saving the CEO, the General Manager of Jal Nigam in this case who is responsible for the death as per Supreme Court's order.

Unfortunately, the situation is not peculiar to Varanasi. The rot runs throughout the state of Uttar Pradesh, the very country itself. As the Uttar Pradesh Safai Majdoor Sangh keeps pointing out, such deaths are routine and seldom is action taken against the guilty. Though data on such deaths is hard to come by, activist S. Anand has estimated that at least 22,237 men and women die in India doing some kind of sanitation work every year. Of these, deaths in manholes are estimated to be at least one or two per day.

The AHRC condemns the disdain of the authorities for the lives of citizens it is oath bound to protect. The AHRC also holds the authorities actions to be in criminal contempt of the Supreme Court. The AHRC demands immediate end to such practice. It demands compensation for Pawan and all others claimed by such illegal acts, as per Supreme Court orders. Lastly, the AHRC demands prosecution of the Chief Executive Officer of the zonal office of the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam responsible for the sewage system for Pawan's death.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: Ban Ki-Moon Condemns Texas Shooting

4 May 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned yesterday’s shooting in Texas that injured a law enforcement officer, reiterating that such criminal acts have nothing to do with religion or belief. More>>

Release Of 200 Nigerian Girls Held Captive By Boko Haram

UN envoy Gordon Brown welcomes release of 200 Nigerian girls held captive by Boko Haram More>>

Ban Calls For Immediate End To Hostilities In Northern Mali

Chadian UN peacekeepers heading to their base in Tessalit, northern Mali. Photo MINUSMA/Marco Dormino More>>

New UN Special Envoy On Ebola Response Visit To Sierra Leone

29 April 2015 – The United Nations World Health Organization ( WHO ) today said that surveillance and community engagement still require improvement in some areas of Guinea and Sierra Leone where new cases continued to surface, a day after the ... More>>

Somalia Registers Record Export Of Livestock In 2014

Somalia registers record export of livestock in 2014 due to trade boost with Gulf States More>>


United States: Riots In Baltimore – National Guard Sent In [graphic Images]

Riots have broken out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old black man who died from injuries sustained while in police custody. More>>

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news