Letters to the Editor — October 23, 2020

It is inhumane

It is shocking that post-independent India still entertains the abhorred occupation of manual scavenging when better methods of waste removal are available (OpEd page, “The manacles of caste in sanitation work”, October 22). How long will the exploitation of helpless oppressed citizens continue? States should join hands with the Union and come forward to abolish manual scavenging and allied activities that are synonymous with neo-slavery. The rehabilitation and skill development of scavengers are two areas which should be focused upon. Sectarian differences should be stopped and the right to life should be propagated with gusto.

Aravind Santhosh,


The accompanying picture was disheartening — to see a manual scavenger nearly lost in a manhole filled with human waste and other solids. The Constitution, ironically, speaks of social justice requiring an abolition of inequities. Alas, it is just on paper as there is no mass movement to end the barbarous practice. The lack of social safety and security for manual scavengers should be a wake-up call to revamp policy. Else, it is meaningless to call ours a civilised society.

E.S. Chandrasekaran,



It is tragic that even in today’s technologically advanced world, there is hardly any mechanisation in sanitation work in India. There must be an awakening among the general public to end the practice. Till such time, such workers need a union, medical insurance and a supervisor.

Rithi Andal Pooja V.,


Deplorably, the caste syndrome and sanitation have become inextricably intertwined. This has resulted in the exploitation of manual scavengers, which has led to the perpetuation of the abominable practice. It is a pity that despite a plethora of laws banning this dehumanising practice, it has only become more entrenched in the system.

P.K. Varadarajan,


Like it or not, sanitation relies heavily on the services of the most oppressed castes. Not only is the work itself degrading, it is also performed under extremely hazardous conditions. It is only when tragic incidents occur involving scavengers, that their social background, the indignities they face in society, and the risks they take come to light. There is a near-institutionalisation of such work. Ending the practice is a challenge India faces, which calls for a sustained approach.

R. Sivakumar,



Health messaging

I have been a keen observer of people’s conduct during the novel coronavirus pandemic and find that a majority of Indians are still very negligent when it comes to proper mask wearing, their use of a sanitiser or following handwashing, and avoiding contamination of the nose and eyes. I do not think that even the exhortations of the Prime Minister will have much of an impact.

People on the street heed only direct and harsh instructions from the police and other local officials. There is no dearth of guidelines on the novel coronavirus safety protocol, but they do not seem to be reaching the public effectively (Editorial, “A crucial season”, October 22).

P. Mangalachandran,

West Ponniam, Kannur, Kerala

IPL woes

All great teams in sport have a sell by date. There comes a time when things begin to fall apart and M.S. Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings is no exception. The roaring lion in the game of cricket has become a kitten this IPL season. The team ‘think tank’ appears to be reluctant to give talented youngsters a chance. It is time the franchise owners brainstorm and invest in youngsters to build the future team.

N. Mahadevan,


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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 2:14:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-october-23-2020/article32922056.ece

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