BHUBANESWAR: Untouchability and manual scavenging are two major social evils which plagues the Indian society even 66 years after independence. While political leaders tag these two issues as National shame, none has shown conviction to end the menace, social activist Bejwada Wilson said here on Tuesday.
Addressing a meeting on the 32nd anniversary of Odia daily Sambad, Wilson rated manual scavenging more dangerous than global terrorism as the former leads to a large chunk of the population being treated as outcast. More than 1,078 people have died in the last two years while cleaning gutters and human excreta, Bejwada, this year’s Ramon Magsaysay award winner, said.
On journalism, the noted activist said newspapers act as mirror of the society and should highlight social causes in a similar manner as political and crime news are reported. “More should be written about the pathetic ordeal of 1.6 lakh women who are engaged in cleaning toilets just because they hail from the family of ‘Safai Karmacharis’, Bejwada added.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajya Sabha member and economist Dr Narendra Jadhav said newspapers and other forms of media should correctly report issues rather than exaggerating or playing these down. He deliberated a session on ‘Dr Ambedkar - democracy and media’ and described Babasaheb as a true nationalist leader who played a dominant role in the social, political and economic awakening of independent India.
Editor of Sambad Soumya Ranjan Patnaik dedicated the success of the media house to readers. With the advent of new technology and hand-held gadgets, Patnaik expressed concerns over the fate of print media in coming future. Among others, managing director, Sambad Monica Nair Patnaik, feature editor Gourahari Das and chief operating office Kamalakant Mohapatra were present.