Manual scavenger

Three manual scavangers died in Coimbatore while cleaning sewer at pig farm. The three dead are identified as Rajappan and two others both named Vediappan. The incident happened on Thursday morning. They were cleaning the septic tanks filled with the faeces of 30 pigs in a farm.

According to a police report on the incident, Rajappan first succumbed to poisonous gas emanating from the septic tank. When they saw him struggling, the other two men, rushed to rescue him but fell prey to the fumes as well. They died inside the tank.

Manual scavenging is prohibited by law yet the practice is still widely prevalent across the country. Despite severe criticism regarding the practice, it continues to thrive. Two manual scavengers died in Coimbatore in January this year.

Tamil Nadu has the ignominy of having recorded the highest number of deaths due to manual scavenging in the last five years. The death count in Tamil Nadu stood at 144 – more than double the number of casualties reported by Uttar Pradesh, the state that recorded the second-highest number of deaths.

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