Fighting for the end of manual scavenging

With no choice but to manually remove human waste, hundreds of thousands of Dalits continue to struggle against the binds of a legacy that traps them in lives of poverty and prejudice.


30 Sep 2014

Sanitation in India is at crisis point. Only 35% of people have access to improved sanitation, meaning 807 million people have nowhere safe to go to the toilet.

One “solution” for the disposal of human waste has been to employ manual scavengers to physically remove excrement from dry latrines. Despite it being outlawed in India since 1993, more than 300,000 people belonging to the lowest rung of the Dalit caste continue to scrape an existence in this demeaning way, relegating them to a life of exclusion and exploitation.

Organisations like WaterAid will continue to fight for the end of manual scavenging and support the implementation of a new bill passed in September.