Skip to main content

83 gutter workers died of suffocation since 2005; kin of 32 have not received government compensation

By Our Representative
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has served a notice on the Gujarat government over the latter’s failure to pay compensation payable against the death of gutter workers in the state. The notice has asked Gujarat chief secretary Varesh Sinha to provide “complete details” on why compensation has still not been paid to the kin of as many as 29 safai kamdars. Under an August 2009 notification, the Gujarat government is obliged to pay Rs 2 lakh to the kin of those gutter workers who die on duty.
The NHRC notice is based on a complaint filed by state-based NGO, Navsarjan Trust, which had complained that, between 2005 and 2012, as many as 80 gutter workers died in the state while on work due to suffocation they suffered from on entering the underground gutters. Yet, so far, compensation has not been paid to 29 workers. “This has come to light in a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by us“, the trust‘s.senior activist Kirit Rathod said.
He added, if one adds this to three more who died of suffocation in gutter this year -- one in the state capital, Gandhinagar on March 23, 2013, the second one in Godhra on April 20, 2013, and the third in Gandhidham, at the Kandla Port Trust, on June 8, 2013 -- “then the total number of gutter workers against whom no compensation has been paid reaches 33.” Rathod made his complaint to the NHRC on June 16, 2013, which made NHRC to issue a notice to the state government.
“In all, nine gutter workers die every year in Gujarat. The highest number of deaths have taken place in Ahmedabad, 18. We have been told that cases for paying compensation are pending before the Safai Kamdar Development Corporation“, Rathod said, adding, “In all there are 50,000 safai kamdars in Gujarat. There is a sizeable number of them who work as gutter cleaners. There are a few who work even as manual scavengers, continuing with the despicable practice of cleaning nigh soil.”
Rathod says, the “indifference” towards paying compensation is evident despite the fact that the budgeted amount payable against group insurance taken for the safai kamdars has gone up from Rs 13 lakh in 2005-06 to Rs 20 lakh last year. In his letter to the NHRC, he demanded urgent legal steps and FIR against officials and contractors who made the gutter workers to enter poisonous sewerage chambers under dangerous conditions when poisonous gases are at a very high level.

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?