Law & Governance

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Safai Karamchari: Analysis from health perspectives
Introduction
As human beings, health is very much matter of concern these days at a time when all stakeholders related to this has failed to provide adequate services to people. Of these people, Safai karamchari has known to be in the list of vulnerable category that has been deprived from basic amenities at work place for many years even after intervention by government. It is being said at political and social level that there is need to take corrective measures to improve the dilapidating condition of Safai Karamchari but unfortunately government has not come out with concrete plan except doing something little. Safai Karamchari and Health

Safai Karamchari (Paura Karmika) plays very important role in maintenance of cities and society and makes it a place for hygienic and healthy living. This job exposes Safai people to a variety of risk factors such as dust, toxins and pollution from diesel and petrol which make them vulnerable to develop certain occupational diseases. These occupational diseases sometimes create havoc in their life. The important gloomy conditions detected in these workers include the diseases related to respiratory system and eye, unforeseen accidents, injuries, cuts and wounds, skin infections, animal bites etc. at present, in a country which is more industrialized and developed more has reduced the chances of occupational health impact. But in India, where still this kind of job is considered as filthy and lower. The medical problems of these workers are further compounded by different socioeconomic factors such as poverty, lack of education, poor housing condition and poor diet. It is ironic that they are not able to fulfil their requirement because of these factors and apart from this they do not have support system either from organization for which they are working or government. If we look at the conditions of women who are also present large proportion of population in this sector facing acute shortage of so called facility and consequently they face diseases like anaemia, backache, and hypertension and skin allergy. On the other hand in a recent study by US health services has proved that there are 22 human diseases tracing the relationship with improper solid waste management. There has been serious issue in the handling of solid waste management which is causing various types of infectious and chronic diseases. So it is not just a matter of concern, but also disgraces that even after little more than half the century of independence of our country, the social, and economic and education level of safai karamchari continue to be in drastic situation as their living condition is inhuman in nature. According to information available, there are sizeable number of sweepers employed by local bodies are facing a great deal of problems particularly about the denial of pay, GPF, pension and other retirement benefits but some state government has employed them on contract basis. The problem of irregular payment of salaries in states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan is very acute. It is ironic for local bodies that one side they spent lakhs of rupees on the development of city but other side they ignore the people who are really responsible to keep city clean. Ultimately they end up with getting money that is not adequate for survival of one family and as a consequence their condition are getting worse comes to worst. Therefore lack of money and irregular payment keeps them all on tenterhook as they don’t have other sources to get money because they originally comes from lower class and uneducated. On the other hand continuous exposure to dust and particles while working on road makes them helpless because in case of getting ill they don’t have other option for money than this job. In the end they have been deprived from getting basic health facilities and it’s a clear indication of violation of world health organization “the right to...
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