Human Waste Scavenging a Reality in India Despite Sanitation Laws

Manual scavenging, or the manual removal of human waste from non-flush toilets, continues to exist in pockets of India despite the Indian government'sstringentlaws agaisnt it[pdf]. A team of bloggers, including a member of Global Voices, visited a few villages in the Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh, India and learned more about this continuing illegal and dehumanizing practice.

The Indian government in partnership with UNICEF India has been actively pushing an ambitious, community-led total sanitation program - theNirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA),which aims to end open defecation by 2017. An earlierGlobal Voices postreported how UNICEF India's#poo2loocampaign has been using innovative methods to engage the urban populace and create awareness about the issue of open defecation.

However, apart from influencing cultural norms to end open defecation and building of toilet infrastructure across the country, theNBA programalso deals with hygienic methods of solid and liquid waste disposal. And it is in this context that theblogger team learnedhow traditional "dry toilets" were unhygienic. Plus, given that these areas lacked proper sewage system for waste disposal, these toilets encouraged the illegal waste disposal method - manual scavenging.

Read this blog by Aparna Ray here