Think again. You are not a “manual scavenger.” As described by writer Sunil Kuksal:
The term ‘manual scavenging’ describes the daily work of manually cleaning and removing human feces from dry (non-flush) latrines across India. Workers, mostly women and young boys, are also referred to as ‘night soil workers’, a Victorian euphemism that hides the repugnance of the word ‘shit’… Using a broom, a tin plate and a drum, they clear and carry human excreta from public and private latrines, more often on their heads, to dumping grounds and disposal sites.
Did I mention that the Indian government passed a law banning the employment of manual scavengers in 1993? It doesn’t seem to matter, since, as Mr. Kuksal notes:
The practice is on in almost all states, including Bihar, Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir and even Delhi. The Indian railways is one of the largest employers of manual scavengers.
And in an affidavit, the railway admitted that it has about 30,000 open-discharge toilets [that need to be cleaned manually]. How many people do you think are doing this job in India? According to the Indian government, 343,000. Why would anyone do this job? Per Mr. Kuksal, it’s caste-based, and is forced on the dalits by caste pressure.