Saturday, 18 March 2017

Manual scavenging and Protecting Villages.
Aparna Krishnan
Deeply shamed.  
"The latest Socio-Economic Caste Census data released in July 2015 revealed that in India 1,80,657 households are engaged in manual scavenging for their livelihood.
Again, a report presented in the Rajya Sabha estimated an appalling number of 22,237 people losing their lives every year due to manual scavenging in urban areas. Most of such deaths remain uncompensated."
(I do not wish to post the picture) 

T.R. Shashwath Incentivise technology and public sanitation projects... What else?

Aparna Krishnan Maybe that each house handles its own waste. But may not be possible in apartment situations.

T.R. Shashwath Also, economies of scale - once you reach a certain critical mass, it's much more efficient to get it all done in one place. We can have larger-scale STPs and things where we can apply techniques that are just not available at the smaller scale.

Aparna Krishnan Yes, automate I suppose. Why is that not happenning ?

T.R. Shashwath Growth rate... The systems were designed for a much smaller population. Too many people, too much density, and the systems are overworked.

Cities have become too big.
Aparna Krishnan Yes, and only humans can declog. Cities are perverted concepts

T.R. Shashwath But while saying that, you also have to answer another question: why have they become so big? Why do people migrate to cities?

Aparna Krishnan Yes, we go to basics. Meantime what of the conservancy workers ?

T.R. Shashwath Can you answer the question in isolation?

Aparna Krishnan ok. the city is given. the sewage systems are overloaded, and machines cannot do the work. so manual workers come. what shall we do now ?

Aparna Krishnan somehow automate ? is it possible ?

Aparna Krishnan reverse migration ?? is that possible ?

T.R. Shashwath Maybe, to both...

No simple answers... I think an ensemble of solutions is needed.
Aparna Krishnan yes. Vikram Kapur - what is possible ?

Vikram Kapur Huge public investment and land is required to cover all cities and towns with underground sewerage systems with modern treatment facilities. Which is a challenge today for all governments and local bodies. In smaller settlements like villages, septage management is the solution. Without the involvement of humans in direct handling of waste. This means widespread use of mechanisation in the collection, transportation and scientific disposal of human waste. 

Although there is a strong law banning manual scavenging, and most governments / local bodies take serious efforts to comply with / enforce it, manual scavenging does keep happening on the sly privately. 

There is need to sensitise the public on a continuous basis, rehabilitate the families traditionally engaged in this inhuman activity, and vigorously enforce the ban on manual scavenging by imposing stiff punishments on violators.

A civilised society cannot be a mute spectator to the indignity of a fellow human being cleaning others' filth. On our part, we should see that the waste we let out from our premises is properly collected and disposed of. Several of us are guilty of allowing our wastewater and garbage to be let out into storm water drains. Remember that this clogs drains and is a source of many problems. And in turn compels local bodies to use human beings to clean the blocks or desilt the drains when equipment / machinery is either not available or is not effective.

Governments cannot eliminate manual scavenging alone. The citizens need to cooperate. If there is a cost to it, say by investing in sewerage systems, taking service connections or buying equipment, we should be prepared to bear it. 

Swachh Bharat campaign has shown us what our priority needs to be. Let us as Indians walk the talk now. 

Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula @Vikram: in villages, building toilets is one thing, but how do you dispose or decompose the waste without septic tanks. Are those covered under the scheme?

Vikram Kapur Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula DEWATS is the answer for rural areas...

T.R. Shashwath At what point does it become more cost-effective or efficient to switch from DEWATS to centralised management?

Vikram Kapur T.R. Shashwath It depends on various factors and needs a comparison of benefit-cost analysis of each of the options.
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Vikram Kapur: Thanks for the reply; I will check that out. 

Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula Deurbanize aka Ruralize!

Aparna Krishnan yes, i think there is really no shorter cut. Meantime what of the manual workers ?

Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula They need to be accommodated in other work, or at least given tools to start off with. Ban plastic entirely as that's the single biggest reason for manual scavenging, ensure bio toilets are provided everywhere, create a task force of former conservancy workers to enforce/fine people defecating in public/trashing the place, for starters.

Aparna Krishnan Yes, start with banning diapers and sanitary napkins - utterly redundant items. A month later ban plastics. Very do-able, if someone eanted to.

Padmini Rajaram I saw in a National geographic channel about huge waste water plant. I was surprised to know that 80% of the shit is redistributed as fertilizer to the farms ( in powdered form) 

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