A World Toilet College has been set up at Maharashtra’s Aurangabad to train at least 5,000 sanitary workers in cleaning sewers. The initiative comes as an effort to improve the well being of sewer workers in the country and also to help the government in its Swachh Bharat initiative.
The Hindu Business Line has reported that the college is an initiatives of corporate firms like Reckitt Benckiser, IL&FS and BVG India and non-governmental organisation such as Pehal and World Toilet Organisation of Singapore.
The daily’s report quoted Reckitt Benckiser Hygiene and Home South Asia senior vice-president and managing director Narasimhan Easwar as saying that it was a drop in an ocean, but a beginning.
The college will teach sanitary workers about the safety-gears they should use and how to protect themselves from various infections. They will also be explained the need to get tetanus shots every year.
Nearly two lakh families have at least one person engaged in manual-scavenging. Despite the Supreme Court’s order to end manual-scavenging, it is a practice that continues. Corporations in Chennai and Bangalore have expressed their helplessness in ending manual scavenging, which has led to quite a few deaths in both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Deaths due to manual-scavenging are being reported across the country. Tamil Nadu alone accounts for 45 per cent of these deaths. The Ministry for Justice and Social Empowerment told the Lok Sabha in December last year that over 300 died across the country in 2017 due to this. Tamil Nadu has reported 140 such cases, Karnataka 59 and Uttar Pradesh 52.
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