Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Labour Dalit Bahujan Adivasi

Stop Killing Us: Sanitation workers

Despite a widespread response, coverage of the campaign by mainstream and alternative media has been low

Sabrangindia 30 May 2022

Stop killing usImage: Twitter / Bezwada Wilson
 

‘Stop Killing us,’ these words are making the rounds on social media and India alike. The slogan is in response to a call by anti-manual scavenging movement Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA) for a 75-day campaign decrying the deaths of sanitation workers in sewers and septic tanks.

Launched at Karol Bagh, Delhi, the ‘Stop Killing Us’ campaign calls for protests across India where workers will demand due recognition and compensation for deaths in sewers, septic tanks. Focused in the national capital until May 18 and then branched out to different cities.

In recent days, the campaign reached, Uttarakhand’s Dehradun, Rajasthan’s Sikar, Haryana’s Sadhaura. In all these places, sanitation workers gathered and held up huge block letters making up the phrase “STOP KILLING US.” Many other regions also reported such protests.

 

 

SKA Founder Bezwada Wilson who gave this call had tweeted at the beginning of the campaign how 14 workers had died inside sewers between March 27 and March 30 in four states. However, he accused all government of a “criminal silence” in this regard. Later, Times of India reported how 57 people had died in such circumstances since Independence Day in 2021.

While mainstream media has covered this news, the coverage has not reached the level that the movement has spread to. For example, the Times of India on May 13 reported a local protest in Delhi.

In 2018, the SKA had organised an event of the same name in Jantar Mantar to decry the government’s inaction despite hundreds of manual scavenging-related deaths in the country. This apathy of the government was also apparent during recent legislative meetings when Social Justice Minister Ramdas Athawale claimed that there were zero deaths due to manual scavenging in the last five years. Later, he conceded to 325 deaths in accidents while undertaking hazardous cleaning.

Related:

Manual scavengers: Abandoned by state, derided by society

Manual scavenger deaths: Did Centre misrepresent death data in Parliament?

Gujarat: 12 sanitation workers dead, but no compensation?

No death due to manual scavenging: Social Justice Minister Athawale

Stop Killing Us: Sanitation workers

Despite a widespread response, coverage of the campaign by mainstream and alternative media has been low

Stop killing usImage: Twitter / Bezwada Wilson
 

‘Stop Killing us,’ these words are making the rounds on social media and India alike. The slogan is in response to a call by anti-manual scavenging movement Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA) for a 75-day campaign decrying the deaths of sanitation workers in sewers and septic tanks.

Launched at Karol Bagh, Delhi, the ‘Stop Killing Us’ campaign calls for protests across India where workers will demand due recognition and compensation for deaths in sewers, septic tanks. Focused in the national capital until May 18 and then branched out to different cities.

In recent days, the campaign reached, Uttarakhand’s Dehradun, Rajasthan’s Sikar, Haryana’s Sadhaura. In all these places, sanitation workers gathered and held up huge block letters making up the phrase “STOP KILLING US.” Many other regions also reported such protests.

 

 

SKA Founder Bezwada Wilson who gave this call had tweeted at the beginning of the campaign how 14 workers had died inside sewers between March 27 and March 30 in four states. However, he accused all government of a “criminal silence” in this regard. Later, Times of India reported how 57 people had died in such circumstances since Independence Day in 2021.

While mainstream media has covered this news, the coverage has not reached the level that the movement has spread to. For example, the Times of India on May 13 reported a local protest in Delhi.

In 2018, the SKA had organised an event of the same name in Jantar Mantar to decry the government’s inaction despite hundreds of manual scavenging-related deaths in the country. This apathy of the government was also apparent during recent legislative meetings when Social Justice Minister Ramdas Athawale claimed that there were zero deaths due to manual scavenging in the last five years. Later, he conceded to 325 deaths in accidents while undertaking hazardous cleaning.

Related:

Manual scavengers: Abandoned by state, derided by society

Manual scavenger deaths: Did Centre misrepresent death data in Parliament?

Gujarat: 12 sanitation workers dead, but no compensation?

No death due to manual scavenging: Social Justice Minister Athawale

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives