Thursday, August 5, 2010
KOTAGIRI TOWN PANCHAYAT, THE NILIGIRIS, TAMIL NADU
I have uploaded a video in which a sanitary/sweeper/scavengers talks of his way of life. Since it is in Tamil i have translated it here with many point adding to it.
Our condition is worst, administration is prejudiced. If there are 26 Sanitary workers, and all do not work. Only 17 people work. Within this 6 workers are sent to water supply. Withing these Sanitary workers there are Badaga community (a Caste which is dominant in the Niligiris District, Tamil Nadu) too, but they work in the office/water supply. “The people in the office treat us as a slave. If we go with a complaint they would speak very nicely as we leave the place they would dump our complaint aside. Recently there was an incident, which would reveal the way we are treated”. There was a sanitary worker called Mr. Makaali, while he was standing behind the garbage tractor, the driver without noticing him took the vehicle and the back wheel ran through one of his legs. When all Sanitary workers went for asking compensation, the administration said there is no any provision such, still if Mr. Makali applies for a loan, we could sanction the amount at the earliest. Later, they sanctioned a personal loan Rs. 1, 00,000/- for his treatment. At present he can’t walk and his job is done by his wife. Kotagiri Town Panchayat has 26 sanitary workers, who are working for 21 wards, has haatis, colonies, villages etc. These 26 staffs are distributed the tractor will have 4 person, Doonigton 1, Johnson Square 2, market 5, Bustand 2, RamChand 2, bazaar 2, water supply 5, lorry 3, with this limited number we can’t take leave or attend any family functions because if we take our work would get piled up next day. On this context we demand more staffs. (This is the situation of Sweepers/Sanitary staffs across Tamil Nadu) They don’t have weekly off. Wednesday and Sundays are half a day. Our profession gives food for us and it is God, because of some people they think ill about the profession. Basically it is because of the Caste they treat us like this. Medical Facilities: We are not given any special attention in medical. And most of the time we are get treated in the Private hospital. Education For sweepers Tamil Nadu Adi-Dravida Housing and Development Corporation (THADCO) is the organization working with this people to uplift these communities. They provide scholarship for these children, if a person is Pursuing under graduation without any other assistant, they he would be provided Rs.1000/ per anum. (I don’t understand the logic; they say that to receive this money the candidate should not be availing any other assistant.) Quarters And in the office anyone talks about ‘Campline’, the place where the government quarters is situated and we live. In this area we have a public water tank. Since we are sent to clean many public tanks, we asked the administration to allow us to clean our tanks too. They said you can clean your tank, why do you ask us, after you complete your daily duties here, you can gather some people and clean your public tank. Basically we work till 5.00pm every day. How it is possible for us to go and clean our tank after this time. Apart from this we have been complain about the drainage getting mixed with the drinking water but still no response from the administration. The quarters we live was built before 50 years, without toilets and every houses now are dilapidated and like “Sunami” some houses have fallen. The quarters lack basic facilities, and we are paying Rs. 900/- as rent every month. In kotagiri you can get a good house for Rs. 1000/- with attached bathroom and a toilet. The place we live in is unclean the drainage is open, if it rains the water would be on everyone’s doors. We clean the whole town and our living place is unclean. We are tired of demanding the administration. Every time they say, we will be getting M.P’s fund, Central fund and M.L.A fund then sure we will do it. Our demand is only a basic facilities, especially a toilet, and a society center.