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.
Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other Speaking to reporters during the PBA’s lull on Wednesday night, Reyes recalled Gilas’ participation in a couple of tuneup games that helped them prepare for the prestigious global contest.READ: Chot Reyes likes Gilas’ chances in 2019World Cup: ‘We have proven we can compete’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“[Those games] really toughened us up,” he said. “That was a big factor and hopefully coach Yeng (Guiao’s) team gets a chance as well,” he added.Gilas played Ukraine, Australia, France, Venezuela and Dominican Republic in a battery of friendlies to prepare for the 2014 edition of the games in Seville, Spain. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Google Philippines names new country director “I know there are some challenges with the schedule but with the [league] throwing its all-out support? I think it’s [going to be] important,” Reyes said.Reyes said it is imperative for Gilas to generate something similar as it could help with the players’ headspace.“They should have a good feeling about themselves that they can compete with anybody,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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 San Beda knocks out Jalen Green, FilAm Sports to advance to NBTC semis View comments Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Coming into Group B play as overwhelming underdogs, the Philippines played Greece, and then put up valiant stands against Croatia, Argentina and Puerto Rico. They finally eked out a victory—their only one in the campaign—versus Senegal.“We kept on losing. But at least we tried to level with them,” Reyes said in Filipino. “Our players felt that they were improving and getting stronger as we progressed. And I think that feeling spilled over into the World Cup.”READ: Chot Reyes steps down as PH men’s basketball team coach “When they got into the actual games, the players had a very good feeling about themselves,” he added.Earlier this month, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said that Gilas will be skipping the Jones Cup—a perennial training ground for the country for years—due to conflicts in schedule. But the federation said they are looking to compensate by hosting pocket tournaments.ADVERTISEMENT Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWhile Chot Reyes is optimistic with the Philippines’ chances in the of the FIBA World Cup, he couldn’t stress enough the importance of preparation.Gilas Pilipinas has over five months to gear up the squad and Reyes hopes that the current iteration of the National team could be afforded with an opportunity to generate edge—just like what his squad had nearly five years ago.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES