HYDERABAD: New forms of mob lynching are in the making to kill vulnerable sections of society and even defecation in the open could become a legitimate reason to kill, said Bezwada Wilson, national convenor of the Safai Karmachari Andolan. He said that people misunderstood the concept of Swachh Bharat and are resorting to mob lynching. They would first declare open defecation as crime and then kill gullible people, he said.
Speaking at civil rights activist Balagopal’s 10th Memorial Meeting at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram on Sunday, he strongly criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for declaring India as an ‘Open Defecation Free’ country in the United Nations.
“Even in New York, the poor will go out for open defecation. In a country where 90 lakh homeless people live on roads, where do they relieve themselves? My mother, who was a scavenger, wanted me to find a job apart from cleaning human excreta. But our goals have completely vanished, and the World Bank’s target becomes our goal,” said Bezwada Wilson. “Are you (Narendra Modi) instigating the people towards mob lynching by spending `2 lakh crore on Swachh Bharat?” he questioned. Further, he said, there is no money to pay compensation to the people who died while manual scavenging. He added that the government did not even have the data on how many people have died undertaking manual scavenging. The government is not even implementing the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993, he alleged.
“Even as I am speaking here, Safai Karmacharis are involved in manual scavenging in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Gujarat, because of their system of caste and patriarchy. There is an urgent need to enshrine more articles to give equal value to every person, irrespective of caste, class, creed, and gender,” the activist noted.
He called for government action on the death of over 1,800 manual scavengers, by releasing compensation and providing employment to the kin of the deceased.