The Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA), which works to improve lives of manual scavengers and to end the practice, on Monday demanded action from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal against the owners of the mall where two persons were killed while cleaning a septic tank.
SKA National Convener Bezwada Wilson said in a statement that despite laws in place prohibiting the act of manual scavenging, no prosecution or punishment has been awarded to any person so far.
“I am disgusted to inform you that on August 12, again two more ‘safai karmacharis’ were killed during the cleaning of a septic tank,” read the letter written by Wilson to Chief Minister Kejriwal.
“We request you to intervene in this urgent matter by asking all the owners of these malls, hotels and other public places to submit undertakings to the government before getting permission for construction that they will not employ any human to manually clean septic tanks,” the letter demanded.
On August 12, two ‘safai karamcharis’ — Jahangir, 24, and Ijaz, 22 — died of suffocation while cleaning a septic tank at Aggarwal Fun City Mall in Anand Vihar in east Delhi.
Three persons died while cleaning the sewers in Jalvayu Vihar area of Lajpat Nagar on August 6. Similarly, four others died in Ghitorni of south Delhi area.
The SKA has claimed that 27 persons, including these nine, died in the last one month due to manual cleaning of sewers and inhalation of toxic gases.