Modi has done nothing for us: sanitation workers | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 08, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:37 AM, April 08, 2019

Modi has done nothing for us: sanitation workers

Five sanitation workers, all from the lowest rung of India's caste system, were chosen in late February to meet a very important guest: Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As cameras flashed, Modi proceeded to wash the feet of the workers, one by one, using water and his hands, a gesture intended to honour staff who clean toilets at the Kumbh Mela, a massive religious gathering in north India. But sanitation workers, scores of whom die each year from asphyxiation while removing waste from underground drains, have had enough, said Bezwada Wilson, the head of the Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA), or Sanitation Workers' Movement. Ahead of general elections that begin on Thursday, the workers are reminding Modi of his promise to eradicate by this year the practice of manual scavenging — the cleaning, carrying or disposing of human excreta from dry latrines and sewers. "(Modi) has done nothing for us in the past five years," Wilson said.

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