Photo Exhibition: The Hidden World of Sanitation Workers
CS Sharada Prasad about their invisible lives.
November 19th every year is observed as World Toilet Day.
Ensuring that our contact with human waste ends when we leave the toilet is one of the most important jobs in society, and yet around the world, Sanitation Workers who deal with human waste in the most inhuman conditions remain mostly unseen and unappreciated as they unclog sewers and empty sanitation pits, often manually.
Despite providing an essential public service, an uncounted number of sanitation workers work in conditions that are inhumane, hazardous and stigmatising – that violates both their dignity and basic human rights. It leaves them exposed to a litany of health and safety issues, repeated infections and injury, with their lives cut short by the everyday risks of the job. And using mechanization and safety gear to clean and fix sewers and manholes so that no person has to manually deal with human shit or worse even die doing so, is still a blip in this universe.