Manual scavenging still practised in Karnataka



Bangalore: Manual scavenging is still practised in parts of Karnataka with the condition of these social groups continuing to be "pathetic and inhuman," a research study on the lives and problems of safai karmacharis has revealed.

Manual scavenging has not been totally eradicated and those engaged in it are yet to be fully rehabilitated, the study found.

Titled "Mirage of social mobility: the case of Safai Karmarcharis in Karnataka," the study was conducted by Dr K G Gayathridevi of the Centre for Ecological Economics and Natural Resources of Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore.

The study was conducted from a sociological perspective focusing on understanding the intricate social relationship and socio-economic mobility among the scavenging social groups, Gayathridevi said.

Field studies conducted in two fast-growing urban centres, Gulbarga and Tumkur, revealed that the heinous system is thrust upon poor and migrant Scheduled Caste families, the study said.

While in North India the Bhangi community are the safai karmacharis by caste and profession, in Karnataka the Mehtars and the Mangarodis are employed as manual scavengers, the study said.

Most of the safai karmacharis are women but a majority of them lend their services on behalf of the menfolk, the study revealed.

"Thus, these women workers are marginalised and deprived of benefits reaching them directly," Gayathridevi said.

PTI