The Sweeper Community:-
India has the second largest scavenging population in the world after China. According to the2011 census showed that there are between 800,000 to 1,000,000 people engaged in
manual scavenging in India. Manual scavenging refers to the removal of human waste/excreta using brooms, tin plates and baskets from the dry latrine and carrying it on the head to disposal and the people engaged doing it are referred as manual scavengers. The low status and respect accorded to the scavenging community is directly related to their occupation which is identified as disgraceful work. This has led to the perception and practice of untouchability’ against the community. At least 22,327 workers from scavenger community die every year’ this translates to more than 61 scavenger deaths every day due to scavenging work. The degree and frequency of discrimination against the scavenging community clearly identify them being the most discriminated group within Indian society.
About the Movement:-
Movement for ScavengerCommunity - MSC is an NGO founded in 2009 by youth, social activists and like-minded people belonging to the scavenger community. MSC is committed to working towards the social and economic empowerment of the scavenger community through the medium of education.
To achieve this goal, we have started a centre called “Dr.B.R. Ambedker Youth StudyCenter” in 2012 in a scavenger hamlet in Haryana. Through this centre, we are providing a small library, free computer classes, career counseling, newspapers, magazines and evening classes to the children. This helps to expand the horizons of their educational experience and also reduces dropouts. We have also initiated SHGs of women sweepers. These SHGs enable them to move out of their unclean occupation and invest in better, alternative livelihoods. We have a network of around 500 youth in 10 states of India and are actively working in five of those states. We believe, as members of the community, we can understand our problems better and work towards the emancipation of members of our own community. In the years of this movement, we have also been able to develop the partnership with grassroots community-based organizations in the different part of India.We plan to spread this movement for liberation and development to other regions of India through the “Fellows for EqualityFellowship” in partnership with existing grassroots community-based organizations.
Our Idea of equality:-
We believe that youth of our community can be change catalysts through their sheer determination and perseverance. With the aim of leveraging the abundant energy in youth, we aim to identify 7 promising youth from scavenging communities in different part of India and work with them to enable and empower their communities and pave a path for their careers in social change while improving education and development indicators within the communities. The 7 chosen youth leaders will go through a one-year fellowship with the movement for Scavenger Community where they will be trained through 5 residential seminars on community mobilization, institution building, participatory development, project management and etc which will enable them to facilitate and lead change within their communities.
These budding leaders will also be assigned coaches who would walk along with them through the journey of leadership and growth. We are raising fund to support these youth through their fellowship journey and also to establish Community centres within these communities. The centres will initially provide tutoring to the children along with access to Internet services in the community. It is envisioned that the community centres will become a centre of development and increased community engagement. Please support the “Fellows for equality Fellowship” for the education and development of scavenging community.
Story behind the Movement:-
Read the Story @ [ BBC
] [ OZY
] [ Social Story