Mumbai, Nov 21 (IANS) Megastar Amitabh Bachchan will be donating 50 machines to aid sewer workers and stop them from entering the pit that dehumanises their existence.
He wants to make their lives safer and provide them with social dignity that they deserve.
“Manual scavenging refers to the practice of manually cleaning, carrying, disposing or handling in any manner, human excreta from dry latrines and sewers,” Amitabh wrote in his blog after several deaths of these workers were reported lately.
It often involves using the most basic of tools such as buckets, brooms and baskets.
“They (workers) go down the manholes of the city, to clean, in the most inhuman conditions without any proper equipment of safety care. Many perish inside the pits due to asphyxiation and deadly fumes discriminated against…”
“I came across this information during the cleanathon of 15 hours recently and I am buying 50 machines for these workers so they do not have to enter the pits but are able to clean the manholes and sewers from outside with these machines, saving the indignity they suffer from the public.”
The 76-year-old thespian also gave details about the machinery he was planning to buy and present to the civic body in a few days.
“The machines are fairly large, a bit cumbersome to operate, but do the job…,” he said, adding that the ones he would get were of smaller size and could be personally owned by the worker.
“There is the larger version too, that cannot be moved about other than on a truck .. this shall be presented by me to the Municipal Corporation .. in a day or two,” he added.
Amitabh wrote that “manual scavenging” is a term used mainly in “India for a caste-based occupation involving the manual removal of untreated human excreta from bucket toilets or pit latrines by hand with buckets and shovels”.
“It has been officially prohibited by law in 1993 due to it being regarded as a dehumanising practice but if they can be given some basic facilities through engaging machinery, it would make their lives a lot safer and give them the social dignity that they deserve,” Big B added.