On August 20, 2009 during the World Water Week in Stockholm, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak will receive the 2009 Stockholm Water Prize for his lifelong dedication to improve public health, advance social progress, and improve human rights in India and internationally. Dr. Pathak shares his reflections and visions on his ongoing quest for clean and dignified lives for all people.

This note deals with the problem of manual scavenging in India as a form of caste and occupationbased social exclusion. It tries to explore the causes and reasons for the continuance of this social evil in India with a case study of Ghazipur district in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Four decades ago, when Bindeshwar Pathak began his work on changing unsanitary latrine practices, there were sceptics galore. Today, Pathak

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Sulabh Sanitation Movement in India, has been named the 2009 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate.

Nalini Ravichandran | ENS

Safai Karamchari Aandolan study in 8 districts shows practice continues; to knock court doors on Tuesday
DESPITE the Madras High Court order on November 20, 2008 which called for the prohibition of entry of sanitary workers into the sewerage system, manual cleaners are being made to enter the septic tanks in different town municipalities in TN districts.

Nalini Ravichandran | ENS Chennai,

MANUAL scavengers in Tamil Nadu continue to wait in vain for their rehabilitation package by TAHDCO (The Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar Housing and Development Corporation). The rehab package is meant to help them quit their work and start their own business ventures. But 142 scavengers throughout the state have been made to wait.

HUNDREDS of contract workers engaged by local bodies and water supply and sewerage boards in major cities and towns to clean underground sewers virtually walk into death traps. A large number of them die instantaneously after inhaling noxious fumes in the sewers. Others die a slow death from respiratory and neurological ailments.

R.K. Radhakrishnan

CHENNAI: Over 30,000 scavengers in the State have been rehabilitated and the government was working on the rehabilitation of the remaining identified scavengers by the end of the financial year, the State-level monitoring committee on their rehabilitation was told.

J. Venkatesan

NEW DELHI: Chairman of Law Commission Justice A.R. Lakshmanan has written to the Union government to take up with six State governments the issue of manual scavenging still prevalent in their States and to ask them to enforce the ban.

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit along with Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Meira Kumar launched a self-employment scheme for rehabilitation of manual scavengers and their dependents at Dilshad Garden in East Delhi on Thursday. Asserting that her government was commitment to rehabilitation of all manual scavengers and their dependents by March 2009, Ms. Dikshit said the new scheme would put an end to the menace of scavenging.

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