At a public hearing on Constitution Day on Tuesday, a group of human rights lawyers in Shivpuri placed on the District Collector’s table jars containing human excreta and sewage samples in protest against “inaction” over repeated complaints of manual scavenging in the district. They demanded punishment for officials and protective gear for sewer cleaners.The practice of manual scavenging, they claimed, continued unabated at three locations in the city — behind Vidyadevi Hospital, near Jal Mandir and behind PWD quarters. “The safai karamcharis are engaged in removing human excreta which flows from homes and into open drains by the side of the road,” read a memorandum submitted to the District Collector.Report not submittedDuring a visit to the district on September 19, the State Human Rights Commission had asked the Collector to submit a report within 15 days on manual scavenging and hazardous cleaning of sewers. The report hasn’t been submitted yet.“On Samvidhan Diwas (Constitution Day) and in the light of the spirit of the Constitution and the rights it provides to the most marginalised”, the lawyers demanded an FIR against officials responsible, identification of manual scavengers, survey of insanitary latrines and distribution of safety equipment to sewer cleaners within a fortnight.Heeding the demands at the meeting, H.P. Verma, CEO, zila panchayat, directed the Municipal Council and the Public Health Engineering Department to act within 15 days to put an end to the practice in the district and provide protective gear to sewer cleaners.“The workers are not cleaning drains with bare hands but using equipment,” District Collector Anugraha P. told The Hindu. “In any case, they are not removing excreta but cleaning drains. There needs to be a behavioural change to end this practice, which may take time,” she said.During a visit to Shivpuri last month, The Hindu had found a worker behind the PWD quarters removing human excreta using a shovel in an open drain. All sanitation workers in the city belong to the Mehtar community. While 15 men are tasked with clearing drains clogged with human excreta, carcasses and polythene bags, 35-40 women spruce up the streets.“It’s not about provision of equipment to manual scavengers. It’s about ending the practice by closing open drains and creating septic tanks, and rehabilitating the workers,” said Abhay Jain, one of the lawyers.
SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte The Bucks have not won a playoff series since 2001, the longest current drought in the NBA. They have lost nine consecutive series.QUOTE OF THE DAY“We’ve got to make sure we take full advantage of the opportunity, take care of business and do what we’re supposed to do.” — Houston’s James Harden, the reigning NBA MVP, on the Rockets’ next two games against lottery-bound New York and Phoenix.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss View comments — Sacramento at Utah: The Jazz are 11-1 in their last 12 games, and still have a shot — albeit slim — of getting to the No. 4 spot out West.— Portland at Denver: This is the start of a home-and-home that will have a big impact on seeding. Nuggets’ recent schedule has been brutal.— Cleveland at Golden State: Technically, it’s a rematch of the last four NBA Finals. Cavs could harm Warriors’ plans for West No. 1 seed.— L.A. Lakers at L.A. Clippers: Doc Rivers with Clippers — six winning seasons in six years. Clippers pre-Doc — six winning seasons in 38 years.— Games with no playoff implications: Memphis at Dallas, New Orleans at Phoenix.CURRENT BRACKETFirst-round matchups if the season ended Thursday …East: 1-Milwaukee vs. 8-Orlando, 2-Toronto vs. 7-Brooklyn, 3-Philadelphia vs. 6-Detroit, 4-Boston vs. 5-Indiana.West: 1-Golden State vs. 8-San Antonio, 2-Denver vs. 7-Oklahoma City, 3-Houston vs. 6-L.A. Clippers, 4-Portland vs. 5-Utah.NOTE OF THE DAY No other seeds are clinched. Philadelphia will almost certainly be No. 3, but that’s not secure.It could play a role in which teams get the last three open spots. Milwaukee plays Brooklyn on Saturday, a big game for the Nets and meaningless for the Bucks. Toronto plays Miami on Sunday, big for the Heat, and perhaps meaningless for the Raptors. If Philadelphia has the No. 3 seed clinched by Tuesday, that could help the Heat out in Dwyane Wade’s last home game.WESTERN CONFERENCEGolden State’s easy win over the Los Angeles Lakers put the defending NBA champions two games ahead of Denver in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.Still, no seeds out West are clinched. Denver and Houston are vying for No. 2 — mathematically, there are other options, such as Portland getting past both of them for that spot, but in most scenarios the Nuggets and Rockets will be the ones fighting it out. San Antonio could get as high as sixth, but will likely be seventh or eighth.ADVERTISEMENT Milwaukee Bucks’ George Hill, left, and Sterling Brown celebrate during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Philadelphia. Milwaukee won 128-122. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)A look at where things stand in the NBA playoff picture, with six days remaining in the regular season:EASTERN CONFERENCEADVERTISEMENT Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Tired of losing, Eric Kelly determined to stop 5-fight skid in ONE: Roots of Honor Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew MOST READ Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess The road to the NBA Finals goes through Milwaukee. And the Bucks are the first team in the league to know exactly where they will be seeded for the playoffs.Milwaukee’s win over Philadelphia on Thursday night clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and ensured that the Bucks will have home-court advantage for the entirety of the playoffs. It doesn’t guarantee anything, of course, but the No. 1 seed has made the East finals in 16 of the last 19 seasons.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“It’s not just about Game 7. It’s about having the first two games at home,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Our guys have worked hard this year to earn that, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot at the end of the day when the playoffs start.”Toronto is now locked in as the No. 2 seed in the East, and still could finish as the No. 2 seed in the entire NBA — which would give the Raptors the home-court edge in the NBA Finals if they got there. Plenty of games Friday will affect the West race, with the Portland-Denver matchup likely carrying the most weight on the night’s schedule.FRIDAY’S GAMESThere are 11 games on Friday’s schedule with playoff implications.— Toronto at Charlotte: It’s almost win-out-or-bust now for the Hornets. For the Raptors, it’s get ready to host the No. 7 seed in Game 1.— Atlanta at Orlando: The Magic play their final home regular-season game. A win would help the odds that this isn’t the season home finale.— San Antonio at Washington: Spurs know they’ll start the playoffs on the road. Getting out of eighth likely avoids seeing the Warriors right away.— Boston at Indiana: Winner will hold a one-game lead in the race for the No. 4 spot in the East with two games left. The loser goes to No. 5.— New York at Houston: The Rockets could become the first team since Phoenix (in February 2009) to score 130 in three consecutive games.— Miami at Minnesota: It’s not a must-win for the Heat, but close. When Dwyane Wade plays, Miami has won seven straight at Minnesota.— Detroit at Oklahoma City: Pistons are fighting to get in and waiting for Blake Griffin to return, while the Thunder have lost seven of 10. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.