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Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan

The “Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan” (National Campaign for Dignity) launched by Jan Sahas in 2001 has proven to be a very innovative and effective program to end manual scavenging. The Abhiyan has liberated 31,828 manual scavengers in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Research report on death workers of engaged in manual scavenging while cleaning of septic tanks from eleven states of India

In complete violation of basic human rights and dignity, Dalits of India continue to be pushed to practise caste based occupations such as manual scavenging. This type of discrimination emanates from the notion of purity and pollution and untouchability, deeply rooted into the mindset of upholders of caste in the country. The prevalence of caste based occupations such as manual scavenging, is a prime example of how caste, as a social construct, continues to pervade economic activities and perpetuates discrimination, exclusion, ostracization and victimization. Dalits engaged in manual scavenging such as Valmiki, Mehtar, Dom, Bhangi, Har, Hadi, Ghasi, Olgana, Mukhiyar, Thoti, Hela and Halalkhor
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The Cost of Cleanliness

In the 89 incidents identified from 19 states a total 205 deaths were reported. In total 140 incidents in which 302 deaths are identified in the present survey.

Total 51 incidents; one to two family members of the deceased were interviewed where as total 89 incidents are identified. Total 140 incidents were covered amidst the research period.
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Our Works

    • 10,000 km long Yatra launched from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
    • Covered 200 districts of 18 states
    • European Parliament referred to the Yatra in their resolution on Caste Discrimination
    • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, welcomed the strong movement
    • More than 5000 women freed from this evil participated during the Yatra.
  • Campaign women activist went to colonies and houses of women engaged in this practice and motivated them to get free from this practice instantly. They explained that though they may be deprived of few stale chapattis, few old clothes, some money, though they may be pressurized or boycotted but they should not continue do this work.
  • The Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan approach challenges the predominant notion that manual scavenging can be abolished through technical sanitizing or economic interventions. Providing comprehensive rehabilitation under the MS act to replace the “work” traditionally done by manual scavengers has successfully address the profound system of inequality that locks manual scavengers into demeaning subordination.
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