We're trying to send missions to Mars, but don't harness tech to stop manual scavenging: Bezwada Wilson

Wilson was speaking at the RV University in Bengaluru after inaugurating the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Contemporary Ethics
Bezwada Wilson | Pic: Wikimedia Commons
Bezwada Wilson | Pic: Wikimedia Commons

Expressing serious concern over the persistence of manual scavenging in 22 states of India, social activist and National Convener of the Safai Karamchari Andolan, Bezwada Wilson said that his mission would not be over until manual scavenging is fully eliminated. Referring to the plight of women who are forced to persist in manual scavenging for earning their daily bread, Wilson, while inaugurating a new centre at RV University,  expressed deep pain and declared that he would not rest until last woman who is engaged in cleaning dry toilets is liberated.

Referring to two thousand people who lost their lives while cleaning sewers and septic tanks since 1990, Bezwada Wilson stressed the need for strict enforcement of legislation prohibiting manual scavenging, proper conduct of surveys by the District Collectors to identify manual scavengers and thereafter rehabilitate them. Pointing out that data regarding such tragic deaths is not maintained by the National Crimes Records Bureau, Wilson emphasised the need for maintaining proper data in this regard. “While we are trying to send a mission to Mars, we are unable to harness technology in aid of people who dive into ten feet deep sewers without protective equipment and die in the process”, he added.

In his welcome address, Professor YSR Murthy, Founding Vice-Chancellor, RV University said, “Manual scavenging continues in many places including big cities. It is a barbaric practice and is an affront to human dignity. Bezwada Wilson has been waging a relentless crusade for many decades to help manual scavengers reclaim dignity and all cherished human rights. He has been working tirelessly to change the lives of thousands of marginalized, dispossessed, socially oppressed sections of our society.”

In his Presidential Address, Trustee, RSST, AC Chandrashekar Raju exhorted the youth to honour Mahatma Gandhi's legacy by practicing his values. He said "India is the youngest country in the world in terms of demographics, and it is the responsibility of the youth to preserve and protect the memory of Gandhi, his ethics and value systems that formed his entire life. Material values can give us all something that can last for some time, but ethical values outlast everything and everyone, even after they are gone.

RV University inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Contemporary Ethics (MGCCE) on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. To shape the thoughts and opinions of the student community inside and outside the campus, the university will host highly eminent personalities who lead a Gandhian way of life. MGCCE is established with an aim to address contemporary issues in our society and inspire young minds to embrace the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

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