The people continue to defecate in the open, though government records show the village has functional toilets.
Arfa Khanum Sherwani discusses why the safety of sanitation workers is missing from our agenda of Swachh Bharat.
We are at a juncture where it is possible to think of a ‘clean India’ without looking at the issue of urban sewage workers who clean the society’s filth.
In an attempt to make the city ‘open defecation free’, families who had paid for toilets and were midway through construction allege that their houses were destroyed before surveyors came around.
The Swachh Bharat Mission’s unthinking obsession with ‘behavioural change’ is taking an unconscionable toll on the poorest.
The government claims to have improved urban development, with a multiplicity of schemes to address a number of issues. But the numbers tell a different story.
The sanitation ministry has stated that efforts should be made to ensure that members of the community are “recognised as equal citizens”.
Indore’s relatively small size, the rapid urbanisation of its villages and the high rate of pre-existing latrine coverage make its open-defecation free status unique.
Despite emphasis on ’empowerment’ over ‘entitlements’, which comes with its own set of problems, health and education remain invisible in the Modi government’s social policy agenda.