Some facts about manual scavenging in India are : In India, there are an estimated 125 million people employed as scavengers or manual scavengers and the number has nearly doubled between 1991 and January 2012. Also the government and so called self-help groups collected Rs. 19 crore in 2011. The total loss of the government in manual scavenging in 2011 is estimated to be 'around Rs. 10 crore as a result of ineffective clean-up practices by makeshift teams of manual scavengers taking on the task of stopping excreta flowing into drains. Manual scavengers are disproportionately concentrated in poor and marginalized castes, and migrants from farther rural areas. For many lower caste households, manual scavenging is the only way to rid the premises of human excreta without any major difficulty, especially since the use of water and chemicals are traditionally regarded as taboo in this profession. Activists contend that manual scavenging is a form of caste-based labour and thus a violation of human rights as defined by the Indian Constitution.
Historically, manual scavenging has been linked with the lower castes. In fact, says an article in The Hindu, going back to Pandavas and also that of Romila Thapar in Parinirvana's. There were to be different categories of scavengers, and that of the Dravidians the most impure, the lowest ranked, are those employed to clean the sewers and drains, apparently it was not only related with the caste pattern. This custom exists in India to this day despite there being any action to control or allow these scavengers to transfer their skills to more modern methods.
Initiated by World Bank during late 1980s, this manual scavenging is widely thought to be practiced in India today. Available data suggest that there are around 15-20 million safe drinking-water-fouled households in India, with approximately 1.1 million of them being manual scavengers. More than half of these households are found in the states of Uttar Pradesh, GA Special Backward Class A or B states. 7211a4ac4a