I read Tehelka yesterday and was really flabbergasted after seeing the horryfying pictures of the manual scavengers and sewage workers. We call our society as civil society, but do we deseve this exaggeration? I felt so disgusted after seeing this side of our civilization that I have stopped calling myself as civilized. I don’t think, anybody has the right to say him/herself as civilized, if they do not react after seeing the real face of Indians. For the people, who do not know about manual scavengers- they are the people who pick and clean our shit with their bare hands, who are actually forced to do this, first because of their caste , second, because of the money. Dalits are only eligible to do this menial chore as they were born in the caste categorised as ‘ untouchable’. we can’t even imagine, with how many diseases they get contaminated with, during the course of their occupation? the condition of the sewage workers is even worse as they even loose their lives while performing their duty. Hydrogen sulphide, methane are the gases, which these people inhale when they get inside the manhole to clean the dirt and clear the blockages. without any safety equipment and with their bare bodies they enter the manhole and die with asphyxiation. if they don’t die at that time, they die with the number of other respiratory diseases which they get because of the toxic gases. their average life span is 45 years. i was actually shocked, when i read the account of one sewage worker, Rajinder whose brother Mahavir died because of the suffocation within minutes of entering the manhole. In compensation, his son got the job of sewage worker. After 12 days, he entered the same manhole. Vicious circle! isn’t it? but can we do something about it? answer is no! the family wanted money, not to spend on the malls but just to have the continuous supply of food. Our ‘so-called’ altruist government gave them the job as a compensation. see, motives of both the parties got resolved. It’s another matter the family didn’t had anyother alternative while our government do not want to search for any other. our government is busy in the development??? of what??? developing malls, SEZs, MNCs… Malls for whom? for NRIs, who come to our country and who do not want to feel that they are away from their developed country whose citizenship they hold. For our own youth, who get the money in their early 20s because of our booming IT industry and who wants to spend money on the malls as if there is no tomorrow. this youth of our country form the so-called ‘intelligensia’ of our society and they are not complaining… but should they? Govt. is providing them with everything. Mall, Multiplexes,IT industry,MNCs…should they complain? no. why should they care about the people who earn in a month what they earn in a day. Indians have this mentality, that whoever studies science should become selfish and think about the money involved in it. They shouldn’t think about the society or the government. if they do, they should think, only with rightist ideology. right-wing ideology means money, MNCs, being indifferent to the poor people (because they deserve to be-why do they litter our society?), globalization, USA…United States of America(ummmhh..that’s quite a catch!). This thinking about the poor and this stupid NGO stuff… should be left only with the arts people as they read about the society and they have this ‘left’ ideology. why should we bother? why should we, be responsible for the people who do not have money, who do not go to school, who litter our society with their dirty slums, who steal and beg, who should be sent back to the dirty villages from where they come from (who cares if they were even thrown out of their villages…remember… Nandigram and Singur!!!). But do you think, it is the fault of only the youngsters, who are indifferent to the society and to the people who form it. It is our education system which is at fault, which do not provide us with the critical eye which is necessary for every humen being, which is so book-driven, that it makes us mechanical & do not develop our analytical skills, which teaches us moral values as a subject and not as something which should be incorporated in us, as a person. Our education system has the capability of forcing any student to commit suicide for not getting the desired ‘marks’. These marks or’ grades’ which have become a nightmare for each and every student. But is anybody listening???