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Oct 07, 2013 at 09:46am IST

Manual scavengers get back their respect after new legislation

New Delhi: The passing of the Bill against Manual Scavengers in Parliament has come across as a major milestone in eradicating the ancient practice. NGOs like the Sulabh International have taken a progressive step in bringing respect back to the lives of the manual scavengers and have guided them to a better future.

Sharing her plight, a former manual scavenger Pooja said, "We feel bad when people abstain from getting in contact with us. We are also human beings".

They were considered castaways and their casual presence was frowned upon but the passing of the Bill in Parliament has help them attain their fundamental right to equality and dignity.

"People use to mistreat us when we use to o manual scavenging," another scavenger Usha said.

NGO Sulabh International has appointed 7 former manual scavengers as its ombudsmen. "Earlier if they had some problems, we used to sort them out, now we have given respect to these women called them ombudsmen and they now decide the matter," Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak said.

The former scavengers, who are learning the skills to sew clothes as well as the skills of a beautician, are now looking forward to lead a respectable life. The newly attained skills are helping them move away from the age-old profession that had long imprisoned them.