On August 31 a man was seen cleaning sewage by hand in the center of the City at JC Nagar. It is ironic that unknown to him just a day ago, Magsaysay awardee Wilson Bezwada's visited Bengaluru to address Safai Karmachari Kaval Simithi and other social activists in demanding the speedy implementation of Manual Scavenging Act 2013.
The person has been identified as Arokiyaswamy. He was seen cleaning the manhole at JC Nagar. Unable to bare the smell of the sewage, he come drunk. Asianet Newsable had even spoken to Arokiyaswamy who said the house owner had given him this manhole cleaning work and failed to give any safety equipment like gloves, mask, and others.
What’s further saddening is that he agreed to clean the sewage line for just about 'anything' that the owners wished to pay. "I have no one to take care of, and hence I am forced to do this job. The owner has not said how much he will pay," he had said.
The building belongs to Nazir who works abroad and has rented this place. The tenants staying here have no choice, and every time it rains the sewage lines get blocked, and people like Arokiyaswamy are asked to clean it.
Although the JC Nagar ward office is at roughly 500-metres away, no BWSSB engineer or BBMP official is seen to check such incidents in this place. The irony is that although there is a ban on the practice of manual scavenging and use of humans to clean drains and manhole, this incident shocking incident took place just 1.5 KM away from Vidhana Soudha and hardly a 1 km away from social welfare minister H Anjaneya's official residence at Jayamahal.