The Protectors Of Humanity


***EXCLUSIVE***   ***NO INTERNET USE UNTIL 00-01 AUGUST 19, 2012***  NEW DELHI, INDIA - JULY 13: Devi Lal age 43, cleans drains for a living, is seen inside a drain, cleaning it on July 13, 2012 in New Delhi, India.  THESE amazing pictures show what is probably the world’s filthiest job. Everyday thousands of manual scavengers in India unplug the dirtiest sewers and drains without any safety equipment or protection. It is also one the deadliest jobs in India, with almost 61 scavengers having died in last 6 months alone. According to Harnam Singh, the chairman of the Delhi Safai Karamchari Commision, ( Delhi cleaners commission) almost 70 percent of the manual scavengers die on the job. Even though India has banned Manual scavenging in 1993,  government agencies still use thousands of manual scavengers to clean drains through out India.  PHOTOGRAPH BY Sagar Kaul / Barcroft India   UK Office, London. T +44 845 370 2233 W  USA Office, New York City. T +1 212 796 2458 W  Indian Office, Delhi. T +91 11 4053 2429 W

Deep into the pit
Surrounding dark sewage and dirt
With nauseated stench
Whole body drench
With human urination
And defecation
Manual scavengers clean
Risking lives
Leaving family bonds

Sitting in cozy toilets
And air-conditioned rooms
Pass our wastage
Into long winding drainage

We talk of technology
Development and ecology
With their bare hands, legs and misery
And no help of machinery
Work hard for their living
Dreaming of their families blossoming
We lack sympathy and sensitivity
For the protectors of humanity

(In memory of safai karmacharis who lost their lives in cleaning septic tanks)

Sheshu Babu is a writer from anywhere and everywhere


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