This paper discusses the political circumstances which help explain why the insanitary living conditions of such a large section of India’s urban population have been ignored, and contrasts these with the circumstances which explain successful sanitary reform in Britain in the second half of the 19th century.

Scavengery continues to remain one of society s ills in spite of laws created to abolish it

An Act to provide for the prohibition of employment of manual scavengers as well as construction or continuance of dry latrines and for the regulation of construction and maintenance of water-seal latrines and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Rameshwari has been working as a scavenger in the pilgrim town of Ajmer in Rajasthan for the last 15 years. She abhors her work, yet she does it as it is her only source of livelihood.

Gujarat government, Trumac Engineering Company and the labour commissioner have been issued notices by the Gujarat high court regarding the unhygenic working conditions of the company's sweep- ers.