Safai karamcharis stage protest, seek rehabilitation
MYSORE: Chief Minister Dharam Singh has been urged to put an end to the practice of carrying night soil and to rehabilitate 'safai karamcharis' and scavengers engaged in the work in the State.
Safai karamcharis, who held a demonstration outside the Deputy Commissioner's office here on Tuesday, took exception to the recent claim made by civic authorities that the practice does not prevail in Mysore any more.
"The practice of carrying night soil prevails in many parts of Karnataka. Civic authorities in Mysore, Bangalore and many towns in the State are issuing statements to the contrary to mislead the public and the Government", said President of Karnataka State Safai Karmachari and Scavenger Elimination Federation B. Peddanna.
Huge pits are dug up at various places, including new extensions in cities, industrial layouts and on factory premises, where night soil is collected.
"Safai karamcharis venturing themselves into the pits and manually transporting night soil is quite common," he said.
A night-soil pit, which is 25 to 30 ft. deep, exists in the heart of Mysore city, he said. After the National Commission for Human Rights flayed the Centre and State Government, the National Safai Karmachari Commission was set up to identify those engaged in the work and to rehabilitate them.
But the officials have conspired to ensure winding up of the Commission by claiming that the practice has been stopped, he alleged.
Thousands of safai karamcharis have applied for loan to the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Development Corporation.
But even after two to three years, it has not been approved as those engaged in carrying night soil have been classified as safai karamacharis/scavengers and that category is not entitled to get loans from the Corporation, Mr. Peddanna said.