An Indian Adoptee Reclaims His Voice in the Desi Diaspora
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Tag: manual scavenging

Are you familiar with manual scavenging?

September 8, 2013

1.3 million Indians clean shit off the street…with their hands.

Of that total, 97% are women. They know no other life. To visualize that number, picture a city like Dallas, Texas, Montreal, Canada or Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Now imagine if every single person in those cities, cleaned toilets by hand. That would equal the approximate number of Indian manual scavengers in 2013.

Are you shocked?

“Manual scavenging,” requires human beings to clean dry latrines unconnected to a watered sewer system. Usually they clean with rudimentary tools, such as small brooms, pieces of wood or tin plates. They put the refuse, both animal and human in baskets, carrying them on top of their heads.

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