Data | Uttar Pradesh records highest number of sewer cleaning-related deaths in last five years

Photo for representational purpose only.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

Despite being outlawed, the dehumanising work of manual scavenging persists in India and has claimed the lives of 340 workers in the last five years, according to the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry. Such deaths have increased over the last decade, with the toll in the last five years nearly 28% higher compared to the previous five years.

As of January 2020, most of the identified manual scavengers worked in Uttar Pradesh, which also reported the most sewer cleaning deaths in the last five years. About 17% of sewer cleaning-related deaths did not result in the victim's family being compensated.

Identified workers

Nearly 57% of the 62,334 manual scavengers identified as of January 2020 were from U.P. The chart shows the number of manual scavengers identified in the 17 States where data were available.


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Also read: The manacles of caste in sanitation work

Sewer deaths

Of the 340 workers who died while or because of cleaning sewers and septic tanks in the last five years ending December 31, 2020, 52 were from U.P., the highest among all States. The chart depicts the State-wise number of such deaths reported in the last five years.


Pending compensation

The chart plots the number of manual scavengers who died cleaning sewers or septic tanks between 1993 and January 2020 against the share of the victims' families who did not receive monetary compensation as per a 2014 Supreme Court directive.

For instance, in 30 out of the 32 such deaths (or 93.75%) recorded until January 2020 in Maharashtra, the victims' families did not receive compensation.


Source: National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Watch | India's manual scavenging problem

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 1:26:03 PM |

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