Swachchakar Dignity

A blog to give you first hand reports on the conditions of Swachchkar community, their issues and concerns. A campaign for complete abolition of scavenging practices and brigning forth the growing voices of change with in the community.

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Learning through working. Working at the grassroots made me realise the big difference between those who claim to represent communities as well as the communities themselves. Common man is crushed between the ambitions of various individuals to lead and dominate. The dominant and high numbered communities will always dominate our discourse and the most marginalised are losing in this entire discourse. That is the reason why Mushahar remain at the marginalised and the issue of manual scavenging still not on our top agenda and to eliminate that the community has to decide its own organisations..

I am devoted to freedom of ideas and expression. I personally feel that we in the subcontinent want to dominate and control our discourse and each one of is a ultra nationalist in terms of their caste and community. Nationalism is not just national and political but it is equally in term of religion and caste. I feel each kind of nationalism is a dominant discourse which deny the dissenter a right to speak.

At the end, we all want to listen the truth suitable to us.. we have become expertised in the art of speaking truth of convenience. As long as that remain hall mark of our society and we speak to already converts, this society will remain stagnant, it will always try to control our ideas and choices. We need to oppose any such perception, ideas that want to control our mind and victimise us.

To understand India further, I feel, it is good to do foot walk, ( Padyatras) to various parts of the country. I have so far done it thrice covering nearly 1500-2000 kilometers. It is always interesting to see how people are coping their issues and what is the reason of their exploitation.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

India's unabated Shame


In Chennai, a school teacher force a girl who happened to hail from a family of manual scavengers, to eat trash. Can it happen any where in the world. India and particularly Tamilnadu, the land of Periyar has such barbaric crime against the Dalits, need to ponder over where it failed. Despite loud claims of social justice, Tamilnadu, still has to go a long way. Ofcourse, Tamilnadu is not alone in crime against humanity. There is a common thread in crime in India. That common thread is upper caste hatred and contempt for Dalits particularly the manual scavengers. We have failed to abolish this practice and the blame game continues. Radicalisation of the community is a must. A voice from the community must now reject this slavery. Come out of it. All those who believe in dignity of individual and human rights of all, should join hand in the Self Respect Movement of the Manual Scavengers. It is time to do it and reject this criminal practice duly sanctioned by the Vaidiks. Karunanidhi and his government must take stringent action and warn the school teachers for violating the human dignity. Action must be immediate and strict.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Teacher forces scavenger’s daughter to eat trash

Nalini Ravichandran Express News ServiceFirst Published : 30 Nov 2010 03:36:08 AM ISTLast Updated : 30 Nov 2010 08:55:03 AM IST

CHENNAI: In a shocking incident smacking of caste discrimination, a Class VII student and daughter of a manual scavenger was forced to eat trash by a school teacher last year and no action has been taken against anyone yet, despite the parents going to the police the next day.
The incident was narrated on Monday in Chennai at the public hearing by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights by the girl’s father, Dhanapal, for whom it was not just “corporal punishment” but something that shattered his hope. The manual scavenger from Madurai had hoped that his daughter would be safe in school.
Dhanapal, who broke down while speaking of his daught er’s ordeal, said: “I do manual scavenging, a degrading work. I sent my daughter to school with the hope that she will never do anything close to what I am doing. Now I am devastated. I clean rubbish and my daught er was made to eat it,” he said.

Along with the girl, Priyanka (12), belonging to the Hindu Kuravar community, two other girls also faced the same humiliation at the Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Mahaboobpalayam off Madurai on March 19 last year.

The students were called by Latha, a teacher of another class, and asked to clean the classroom. Since Latha was not their class teacher the students initially refused. They were then forced to clean the room and also eat the garbage in the presence of other students. Priyanka said, “We knelt before her and asked for forgiveness. We cleaned the classroom, and pleaded with her to spare us. She did not relent and demanded that she won’t let them free till they eat it up. We had exams coming up and were really scared. In fear and disgust, we ate up the trash, a handful, which was given to each of us. It contained mud, dirty paper, food particles like rice and stones.... We felt sick.”

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