Mission for total eradication dry latrine cleaning by Safai Karmachari Andolan

Image Courtesy Safai Karmachari Andolan

Dear Friends,

Jai Bhim!

Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA) has launched the campaign ‘Mission 2021’ on 3rd January 2021, the birth anniversary of Savitri Bhai Phule, for the eradication of manual scavenging. This campaign for the total eradication of manual scavenging, a dream of Baba Saheb Ambedkar, will hold rallies in 100 districts in 100 days, culminate on 13th April 2021 and celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr. Ambedkar on 14th April 2021.

Over the past few years, SKA has witnessed the liberation of many Dalit women from the caste atrocity of manual scavenging in dry latrines and their rehabilitation with dignified livelihoods and a life of dignity. However, the caste-based structures of dry latrines and the atrocity of manual scavenging continues to remain rampant in several states in the country. This situation has exposed the apathy and negligence of the government and its violation of the Constitutional rights to life, equality and dignity guaranteed to every citizen and their failure to implement the Manual Scavenging Prohibition Act 2013.

Image Courtesy Twitter/Bezwada Wilson

Mission 2021, is a 100-day Rapid Action Campaign for the total eradication of manual scavenging and dry latrines. This campaign was launched from Sikandarpur Bhaiswal, Bhagwanpur block of Haridwar district in Uttarakhand where Dalit women who were oppressed for generations and forced into manual scavenging raised their voices and took a stand to end manual scavenging.

This campaign will run in 100 districts for 100 days in the seven states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, to demolish dry latrines and bring to an end this barbaric practice.

During these 100 days safai Karmachari community members led by women who were historically forced into cleaning dry latrines will lead the campaign, to identify dry latrines and campaign for their demolition. They will submit memorandums to the local authorities for demolition of dry latrines and for their liberation and rehabilitation with One Time Cash Assistance (OTCA) provided for under the MS Act. The campaign is being carried out with rallies on foot, bicycles and other vehicles.

Already several discussions and rallies have been held in rural and urban areasin different districts of Uttarakhand. Discussions were held with dry latrine owners and convinced them to demolish them for the liberation of Dalit women.

Your support and solidarity to SKA has always added value and given strength to our struggle to eliminate manual scavenging and liberate and rehabilitate manual scavengers. Your support gives us strength and encouragement.  As always, you are part of this important journey with us and we will be sending out regular updates on the campaign. Below are some photographs from the Uttarakhand campaign.

Jai Bhim!

Bezwada Wilson
National Convenor