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COVID-19: Relied work by Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi-Karnataka

The sudden and unplanned announcement of nation-wide lockdown on 24th March 2020, has severely affected those who depend for their livelihood on the banned profession of manual scavenging. While the unplanned shutdown and lack of preparedness of the government has hit all workers in the informal sector hard, but the impact has been particularly severe for those engaged in manual scavenging, since government refuses to acknowledge the existence of the work and those who continue to enagage in this prohibited occupation and has refused to rehabilitate them on a sustainable basis.

With the lockdown, most workers were unable to get any work and thus required relief support. Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi-Karnataka, quikcly reached out to friends and supporters and appealed for funds. Within a week of the lockdown, ration-kits were distributed to the workers in Bengaluru (215) and Kolar districts (80).

Relief Work in Bengaluru

Relief Work in Kolar

Bengaluru Rural

Tumkuru

Press Note (26-03-2020): Negligence of the State government regarding the impact on Safaikarmacharis of the frighteningly infactious COVID-19 disease and the lockdown announced by the government!

Press Note

Negligence of the State government regarding the impact on Safaikarmacharis of the frighteningly infactious COVID-19 disease and the lockdown announced by the government!

Safaikarmacharis/pourakarmikas daily clean the streets, open sewers, human unirine and excreta in community and public toilets and dispose off dead animals under various types of Urban Local Bodies and Gram panchayats in the State of Karnataka. Infectious diseases like COVID-19 can quickly spread among those engaged in such unclean occupations is fact known to everyone. But is it enough to just thank people engaged in these occupation by clapping and beating utensils? Can this prevent spread of infection among people engaged in these occupations? Those who have always practice untouchability against pourakarmikas, don’t even offer a glass of drinking water, don’t even give basic respect to them, can they just clap for 5 minutes and do away with casteism, indignity and inhumanity of decades? Shouldn’t those giving such noble advice introspect?

During the announcement of a economic package by the Union Finance Minister yesterday in the context of the Corona Lock-down, should have at least shown minimal care and respect towards safaikarmacharis working in urban and rural areas, by announcing specific measures especially for them, but she didn’t announce any such specific measures. Additionally, the Circular issued by the Director, DMA (Directorate of Municipal Administration) ಖ್ಯೆ:ಘೌನಿ/೩೫/ಘವನ/೨೦೧೯-೨೦ dated: 19.೦3.2020 is just an eye-wash. It is a well-known fact that DMA officials have been always treated pourakarmikas with discrimination, but in such emergency situation at least they should have shown some concern towards pourakarmikas belonging to Dalit communities.

Steps to be taken immediately:

Workers with age over 50 years should be exempted from work and allowed to avail of paid leave.

  • Additional Transport allowance of minimum Rs 300/- per day should be given to all pourakarmikas.
  • Provide all necessary protective equipment (such as mask, gumboot, glasses, front body closure, hand sanitizer, soap, etc.) to protect the health of the workers.
  • If any pourakarmika of any urban or rural part of the state is found to be infected by Corona virus, then the concerned officials should be held responsible and punishment should be given as per law.
  • Pourakarmikas should be harassed and forced to do unclean jobs.
  • Monthly salaries should be paid regularly.
  • Till the lock-down ends, the timings of the work should be limited to 6:30 am -10:30 (as per the rules adopted by the BBMP)
  • Proper screening and treatment should be initiated immediately for the depennts of pourakarmikas.
  • Any pourakarmika showing any illness should be promptly screened and sent on leave with pay.
  • Officers must themselves take action to ensure that there is adequate food security in the homes of pourakarmikas
  • The medicines used by the pourakarmikas on a daily basis should be supplied by the department.
  • Ensure clean drinking water, sanitation and cleanliness in residential areas of pourakarmikas.
  • All basic amenities including drinking water, toilets, bath soap etc. should be made available at the workplaces of pourakarmikas.

We urge local authorities to take all these necessary steps without delay.

Sincerely,

Dr. K. B. Obalesha, Ramachandra and Padma. M.

State Conveners and members of the State Monitoring Committee, PEMSR Act 2013, Karnataka

ಪತ್ರಿಕಾ ಪ್ರಕಟಣೆ (೨೬.೦೩.೨೦೨೦): ಭಯಾನಕ ಸಂಕ್ರಾಮೀಕ ರೋಗ ಕೊರೊನಾ ಮತ್ತು ಸರ್ಕಾರ ಘೋಷಿಸಿರುವ ಲಾಕ್ಡೌನ್ಪೌರಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರ ಮೇಲೆ ಅಗುತ್ತೀರವ ಪರಿಣಾಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ರಾಜ್ಯ ಸರ್ಕಾರದ ನಿರ್ಲಕ್ಷ!

ಪತ್ರಿಕಾ ಪ್ರಕಟಣೆ

ಮಾನ್ಯರೇ,

ಭಯಾನಕ ಸಂಕ್ರಾಮೀಕ ರೋಗ ಕೊರೊನಾ ಮತ್ತು ರ‍್ಕಾರ ಘೋಷಿಸಿರುವ ಲಾಕ್ಡೌನ್ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರ ಮೇಲೆ ಅಗುತ್ತೀರವ ಪರಿಣಾಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ರಾಜ್ಯ ರ‍್ಕಾರದ ನರ‍್ಲಕ್ಷ!

ರ‍್ನಾಟಕ ರಾಜ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ವಿವಿಧ ಮಾದರಿಯ ನಗರ ಸ್ಥಳೀಯ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಗ್ರಾಮ ಪಂಚಾಯಿತಿಗಳ ಅಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಫಾಯಿರ‍್ಮಚಾರಿ/ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರು ದಿನ ನಿತ್ಯ ರಸ್ತೆಗಳು, ತೆರೆದ ಚರೆಂಡಿಗಳು, ಸತ್ತ ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳು ವಿಲೇವಾರಿ, ಸಮುದಾಯ ಶೌಚಾಲಯಗಳು, ಸರ‍್ವಜನಿಕ ಶೌಚಾಲಯಗಳ ಮಲ-ಮೂತ್ರ ಸ್ವಚ್ಚಮಾಡುತ್ತಾರೆ, ಇಂತಹ ಅನ್ರ‍್ಮಾಲ್ಯ ಕೆಲಸಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ತೋಡಗಿರುವವರಿಗೆ ಶಿಘ್ರವಾಗಿ ಸಂಕ್ರಾಮಿಕ ರೋಗ ಕೊರೊನಾ ಹರಡುವ ಸಂಭವ ಅತಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಎಂಬುವುದು ಎಲ್ಲಾರಿಗೂ ತಿಳಿದಿರುವ ಸಂಗತಿ, ಆದರೆ ಮೊನ್ನೆ ಜನತಾ ರ‍್ಪ್ಯೂ ಜಾರಿ ಗೋಳಿಸಿ ಸಂಜೆ ೫.೦೦ ಗಂಟೆಗೆ ಚಾಪ್ಪಳೆ ತಟ್ಟುವುದು, ಜಾಗಟೆ, ತಟ್ಟೆ,ಲೋಟ ಬಾರಿಸಿ ದನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುವುದು ಎಷ್ಠು ಸರಿ! ಇದರಿಂದ ಇಂತಹ ಅನ್ಯರ‍್ಮಾಲ್ಯ ಕೆಲಸಗಳನ್ನು ಮಾಡುವವರಿಗೆ ಸೊಂಕು ಹರಡದಂತೆ ತಡೆಯಲು ಸಾದ್ಯವೇ? ಕೇವಲ ದನ್ಯವಾದಗಳನ್ನು ಹೇಳಿದರೆ ಸಾಕೆ? ಅದರಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ಯಾವತ್ತು ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರನ್ನು ಕನಿಷ್ಠ ಗೌರವಿಸದವರು, ಒಂದು ಗ್ಲಾಸ್ ಕುಡಿಯುವ ನೀರು ಕೊಡದವರು, ಸದಾ ಅಸ್ಪುಶ್ಯತೆ ಅಚರಿಸಿ-ಅಚರಿಸುವವರು ೫ ನಿಮಿಷ ಚಾಪ್ಪಳೆ ತಟ್ಟಿದರೆ ದಶಕಗಳಿಂದ ನಡೆಸಿದ ಜಾತಿಯತೆ, ಆಗೌರವ, ಕೀಳುತನ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಸರಿಹೋಗುತ್ತೆಯೆ? ಇಂತಹ ಪುಗಸಷ್ಠೆ ಸಲಹೆ ನೀಡಿದವರಾರದು ಯೋಚಿಸಬೇಡವೇ?

ಇನ್ನೂ ನೀನ್ನೆ ಕೇಂದ್ರ ಹಣಕಾಸು ಸಚಿವರು ಕೋರೊನಾ ಕೊರೊನಾ ಲಾಕ್ಡೌನ್ಸಂರ‍್ಭಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಘೋಷಿಸಿರುವ ರ‍್ಥಿಕ ಸೌಲತ್ತುಗಳನ್ನು ಘೋಷಿಸುವಾಗ ವಿಶೇಷವಾಗಿ ನಗರ ಮತ್ತು ಗ್ರಾಮೀಣ ಭಾಗದ ಸ್ವಚ್ಚತಾ ಕೆಲಸಮಾಡುವ ಸಫಾಯಿರ‍್ಮಚಾರಿಗಳಿಗೆ ನರ‍್ಧಿಷ್ಠ ಸೌಲತ್ತುಗಳನ್ನ ಘೋಷಿಸಿ ಕನಿಷ್ಠ ಗೌರವ ನೀಡಬಹುದಾಗಿತ್ತು, ಆದರೆ ಅವರು ನರ‍್ಧಿಷ್ಠವಾದ ತರ‍್ಮಾನ ಮಾಡಿಲ್ಲ, ಇನ್ನೂ ರಾಜ್ಯ ರ‍್ಕಾರದ ಪೌರಾಡಳಿತ ನರ‍್ಧೇಶನಾಲಯದ ನರ‍್ಧೇಶಕರು ಹೋರಡಿಸಿರುವ ಸೂತೋಲೆ ಸಂಖ್ಯೆ:ಘೌನಿ/೩೫/ಘವನ/೨೦೧೯-೨೦.ದಿನಾಂಕ:೧೯.೦೩.೨೦ ಕೇವಲ ಕಣ್ಣೋರೆಸುವ ಕೆಲಸ, ಮೊದಲಿಂದಲೂ ಡಿ ಎಂ ಎ ಅಧಿಕಾರಿಗಳು ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮೀಕರನ್ನ ತಾರತಮ್ಯದಿಂದಲೇ ರ‍್ತಿಸಿರುವುದು ನಮಗೇಲ್ಲಾ ತಿಳಿದಿರುವ ಸಂಗತಿ, ಇಂತಹ ತರ‍್ತು ಸಂರ‍್ಭದಲ್ಲಿಯಾದರೂ ದಲಿತ ಸಮುದಾಯದ ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಕಾಳಜಿ ವಹಿಸಬೇಕಿತ್ತು.

ಸದ್ಯ ಅಗತ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಕೈಗೋಳ್ಳಬೇಕಿರುವುದೆನೆಂದರೆ:

  • ೫೦ ರ‍್ಷ ಮೇಲ್ಪಟವರನ್ನು ಕೆಸಲದಿಂದ ವಿನಾಯ್ತಿ ನೀಡಿ ವೇತನ ಸಹಿತ ರಜೆ ನೀಡಬೇಕು
  • ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರಿಗೆ ಸಾರಿಗೆ ಭತ್ಯೆ ದಿನಕ್ಕೆ ರೂ.೩೦೦/- ಹೆಚ್ಚುವರಿಯಾಗಿ ನೀಡಬೇಕು
  • ಸುಚ್ಚಿತ್ವ ಕಾಪಾಡಿಕೋಳ್ಳಲು ಅಗತ್ಯವಾದ ಗುಣಮಟ್ಟದ ಸಲಕರಣೆಗಳನ್ನು ನೀಡಬೇಕು (ಮಾಸ್ಕ್, ಗಮ್ಬೂಟ್, ಗ್ಲಾಸ್, ಪರ‍್ಣ ದೇಹ ಮುಚ್ಚುವಂತ ರ‍್ಪ್ರಾನ್, ಕೈ-ಕಾಲು ತೊಳೆಯಲು ಹ್ಯಾಂಡ್ಸ್ಯಾನಿಟೈಜಾರ್, ಸೋಪ್, ಸೂಕ್ತವಾದ ಸಮವ್ತ್ರ, ಸೇರಿದಂತೆ ಅಗತ್ಯವಿರುವ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಮುಂಜಾಗೃತ ಸಲಕರಣೆಗಳನ್ನು ಒದಗಿಸಬೇಕು,
  • ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಯಾವುದೇ ಮೂಲೆಯ ನಗರ-ಗ್ರಾಮೀಣ ಭಾಗದ ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರಿಗೆ ಕೋರೊನಾ ಸೊಂಕು ತಗುಲಿದರೆ ಸಂಭಂದಿಸಿದ ಅಧಿಕಾರಿಯೇ ಹೊಣೆಗಾರರು, ಅವರನ್ನು ಕಾನೂನು ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಶಿಕ್ಷೀಸಬೇಕು,
  • ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರ ಮೇಲೆ ದರ‍್ಜನ್ಯ ಮಾಡಿ ಉದ್ದೇಶಪರ‍್ವಕವಾಗಿ ಒತ್ತಾಯದಿಂದ ಅಶುದ್ದ ಕೆಲಸಗಳನ್ನು ಮಾಡಿಸುವಂತಿಲ್ಲ,
  • ಮಾಸಿಕ ವೇತನವ್ನು ಕಾಲ ಕಾಲಕ್ಕೆ ಸರಿಯಾಗಿ ಪಾವತಿಸಬೇಕು
  • ಕೋರೊನಾ ಲಾಕ್ಡೌನ್ಮುಗಿಯುವವರೆಗೂ ಕೆಲಸದ ವೇಳೆ ಬೆಳಿಗ್ಗೆ ೬.೩೦ ರಿಂದ ೧೦.೩೦ ಕ್ಕೆ ಮುಗಿಸಬೇಕು, ( ಬಿ ಬಿ ಎಂ ಪಿ ಅಳವಡಿಸಿರುವ ನಿಯಮದಂತೆ)
  • ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರ ಅವಲಂಬಿತರಿಗೆ ಸೂಕ್ತವಾದ ತಪಾಸಣೆ-ಚಿಕಿತ್ಸೆ ಯನ್ನು ಈ ಕೂಡಲೇ ಪ್ರರಾಂಬಿಸಬೇಕು,
  • ಯಾರಿಗಾದರೂ ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರಿಗೆ ಸಣ್ಣ ಪ್ರಮಾಣದ ಅನಾರೋಗ್ಯ ತೊಂದರಗಳಾದರೂ ಕೂಡಲೇ ಸೂಕ್ತ ತಪಾಸಣೆ ನಡೆಸಿ ವೇತನ ಸಹಿತ ರಜೆ ನೀಡಿ ವಿಶ್ರಾಂತಿಗೆ ಕಳಿಸಬೇಕು
  • ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರ ಮನೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಅಗತ್ಯ ಅಹಾರ ಭದ್ರತೆ ಇದೆಯೇ ಎಂದು ಖುದ್ದು ಅಧಿಕಾರಿಗಳು ಖತ್ರಿ ಪಡಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಅಗತ್ಯ ಕ್ರಮ ವಹಿಸಬೇಕು,
  • ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರು ನಿತ್ಯ ಸೇವಿಸುವ ಔಷಧಿಗಳನ್ನು ಇಲಾಖೆಯಿಂದಲೆ ಪೂರೈಸಬೇಕು
  • ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರು ವಾಸಿಸುವ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಶುದ್ದ ಕುಡಿಯುವ ನೀರು, ಸ್ಯಾನಿಟೇಶನ್, ಸ್ವಚ್ಚತೆಯನ್ನು ಜರೂರಾಗಿ ಪೂರೈಸಬೇಕು
  • ಪೌರಕರ‍್ಮಿಕರು ಕೆಲಸದ ಸ್ಥಳದಲ್ಲಿ ಕುಡಿಯುವ ನೀರು, ಶೌಚಾಲಯ, ಸ್ನಾನದ ಮನೆ ಸೋಪ್, ಸೇರಿದಂತೆ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಅಗತ್ಯ ವಸ್ತುಗಳನ್ನು ಪೂರೈಸಬೇಕು.

ಇ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಅಗತ್ಯ ಕ್ರಮಗಳನ್ನು ತಪ್ಪದೇ ಸ್ಥಳೀಯ ಅಧಿಕಾರಿಗಳು ಪೂರೈಸಬೇಕು ಎಂದು ಒತ್ತಾಯಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ.

ದನ್ಯವಾದಗಳೊಂದಿಗೆ,

ರಾಮಚಂದ್ರ, ರಾಜ್ಯ.ಸಂ.ಸಂಚಾಲಕರು.

ಪದ್ಮ. ಎಂ., ರಾಜ್ಯ ಸಂ.ಸಂಚಾಲಕರು.

ಡಾ.ಕೆ.ಬಿ.ಓಬಳೇಶ, ರಾಜ್ಯ ಸಂಚಾಲಕರು

ಹಾಗೂ ಸದಸ್ಯರುಗಳು ರಾಜ್ಯ ಮೇಲ್ವಿಚಾರಣ ಸಮಿತಿ, ಪಿ ಇ.ಎಂ ಎಸ್ಕಾಯ್ಧೆ ೨೦೧೩, ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸರ್ಕಾರ

ಪ್ರೆಸ್_-ನೊಟ್_

Case Report (29/01/2020): 2 persons die in a sewage chamber in Bengaluru

On 25th January, just one day before Republic Day, the management of Sri Svethambar Sthanakwasi Bawees Sampraday Jain Sangha Trust located on the Infantry Road in Shivajinagar Bengaluru, employed Muniyanna (~50 years) and Sidappa (17 years) to clean an approximately 20 feet deep chamber into which sewage was being discharged. Sidappa went in first and fell unconscious. Muniyanna went to save him and he also feel unconcious. Workers working on premises rused to save both of them. Sidappa was broght dead to the hospital while Muniyanna was admitted to the ICU of Bowring hospital. On 29th Janunary 2020, Muniyanna also passed away.

The doctors said that his lungs were filled with sewage. There was foul smelling sewage in the chamber and it was strewn all around the chamber. Despite this, the police officials at the Commercial Street Police Station refused to accept a complaint and file a FIR. Only after a protest outside the mortuary and pressure from lawyers was a FIR filed late evening on 25th January 2020.

Protest

A protest was organized jointly by AICCTU, Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi-Karnataka, People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), All India People’s Forum (AIPF) and Karnataka Slum Janadolana on 27th January 2020 at Town Hall in Bengaluru urging government to take urgent steps to stop killig of Dalit workers. Labour Commissioner came and received the memorandum.

Press Coverage

Training to Sanitation Workers by BWSSB

Because of the continued occurrence of manual scavenging deaths in Bengaluru city, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) in a meeting held on 12.07.2019 under the Chairpersonship of the Additional Chief Secretary, was tasked with providing training to sanitation workers engaged in cleaning private Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), open drains, gutters, manholes using private Sucking and Jetting Machines etc. including the 202 persons who had been identified by BBMP as manual scavengers in 2013.

An advertisement was issued inviting applications for the trainings. Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi-Karnataka assisted the Karnataka State Safaikarmachari Commission in identifying the participants for the trainings. So far, 177 workers have been trained as part of 3 batches. At the end of training, the participants were given certificates and BWSSB, Karnataka State Safaikarmachari Development Corporation and Karnataka State Safaikarmachari Commission will come up with a scheme to facilitate employment opportunities to the trained workers.

Details of Trainings being provided by BWSSB to Sanitation Workers

BatchDatesNo. of ParticipantsMenWomen
118 – 30 Nov 201938371
29 – 21 Dec 201975723
36 – 18 Jan 202064640
Total1771734

Photos (Batch 1 – 18 – 30 Nov 2019)

Photos (Batch 2 – 9 – 21 Dec 2019)

Photos (Batch 3 – 6 – 18 Jan 2020)

Day 5 (03/01/2020): State-level Jatha moves to Bengaluru Rural district

On its fifth day, the State-level Jatha for eradication of Manual Scavenging from Karnataka organized by Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi-Karnataka (SKKS) moved from Kolar district to Bengaluru Rural district. A rally was taken out by the workers culminating in a sit-in in front of the Deputy Commissioner office against the ineffective implementation of the Prohibiton of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013. The rally started at 12:00 pm and reached the office at 1:00 pm. The DC received the memorandum at 2:00 pm.

Memorandum-to-DC

The 5-day State-level Jatha for eradication of Manual Scavenging finished on 3rd January 2020.

Press Coverage

Day 4 (02/01/2020): State-level Jatha moves south to Kolar

On its fourth day, the State-level Jatha for eradication of Manual Scavenging from Karnataka organized by Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi-Karnataka (SKKS) moved from Dharwad district south to Kolar. A rally was taken out by the workers culminating into a sit-in front of the Deputy Commissioner office against the ineffective implementation of the Prohibiton of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013.

In Kolar district over 550 persons have been identified as manual scavengers but several of them are yet to be rehabilitated fully. A rally was taken out to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Office. When the jatha reached the DC Office, the officials informed us that the DC was not available to receive our Memorandum despite advance initimation. Instead of handing over the Memorandum to junior officials the Samithi members staged a sit-in for 3 hours till the DC came in person to receive the memorandum and have a discussion with the contingent.

Memorandum

Press Coverage

Day 3 (01/01/2020): State-level Jatha moves to Dharwad

As the year 2020 rolled in, the State-level Jatha for eradication of Manual Scavenging from Karnataka organized by Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi-Karnataka (SKKS) moved from Haveri to Dharwad district on its third day. A sit-in was organized by the district level SKKS body in front of the Deputy Commissioner office against the ineffective implementation of the Prohibiton of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013.

A representative of the Deputy Commissioner, met the protestors and accepted the Memorandum on behalf of the Deputy Commissioner.

Memorandum-to-CM-ack

Press Coverage

Day 2 (31/12/2019): State-level Jatha moves northward to Haveri

The State-level Jatha for eradication of Manual Scavenging from Karnataka organized by Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi-Karnataka (SKKS) moved from Davangere to Haveri district on its second day, 31st Dec 2019. The campaign in Haveri began with a Press Meet.

Haveri district has not bee very active in identifying persons working as manual scavengers. During the survey conducted in 2016 in the rural areas of the district, only 8 persons were identified and they also are yet to get any rehabilitation. Hence, one of the main issued discussed with the District administration was expediting the process in the district.

A memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister through the Deputy Commissioner.

Memorandum-to-CM-Haveri-ack