Skip to main content

1250 families in posh western Ahmedabad forced to defecate in open, have no houses for 20 years, Gujarat CM told

Parsottam Vaghela in a Valmiki locality in western Ahmedabad
By Our Representative
Providing a glimpse of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s model city, Manav Garima Trust (MGT), a voluntary organization working among the Valmiki community for over 15 years, has revealed there are as many as 1,250 Valmiki families are living in western Ahmedabad’s post localities without any basic amenities, not to talk of housing.
In a representation to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, MGT’s Parsottam Vaghela, has said, these families are “without any basic facilities and live either in the open or in make-shift shanties, with most of them working as sanitary workers under private contractors.” Valmikis are considered the lowest sub-caste among Dalits and have been working as manual scavengers.
Vaghela, who met Rupani in Gandhinagar Sachivalaya, told Counterview, “When I told chief minister that, sans any basic facilities, these families defecate in the open, he was in a state of disbelief, and immediately picked up the phone, asking the Ahmedabad municipal commissioner to look into the matter immediately.”
“Living in an atmosphere of insecurity, they have been living amidst filth for the last 15 to 20 years after migrating from other parts of Gujarat in search of job”, Vaghela said in his written representation, a copy of which is with Counterview, adding, “Most of them work in the nearby posh houses and flats as sanitary workers.”
Pointing out that their average life span is between 50 and 55 years, Vaghela said, “It has been our long-standing demand to provide them with permanent housing, in the same way as Modi, as Gujarat chief minister, gave housing to 370 families in Maninagar constituency in 2005 and 2008.”
Identifying the areas where these Valmiki families live – Vejalpur, Jodhpur, Thaltej, Bhamriya, Sola, Sarkhej, Makarba, Salpara, Bodakdev and Vastrapur – the representation said, nearly 2,800 children of these families are devoid of any proper education.
“Though enrolled in school, these children accompany their parents going to posh housing societies for cleaning work”, the representation said, adding, “Most of them drop out early. In fact, they are not part of any social policy of the state government.”
Giving the instance of 54 families, living in temporary shanties on Plot No 185 next to the Ishant Tower in the “developed” Jodhpur area, Vaghela said, “They have been living there for the last 12 years. Though they have all the documents such as election card, ration card, and were even taken in Modi’s Garib Melas, they are constantly threatened with eviction.”
Seeking alternative housing for these 54 families, Vaghela accused authorities of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) for keeping them on tenterhooks and fear, Vaghela said, families such as these are the worst off among the Valmiki community of Ahmedabad.
The representation included demand for the providing Rs 10 lakh, as directed by the Supreme Court, to each of the 170 Valmikis who have died in Gujarat due to asphyxiation while cleaning up gutters, and a complete ban on manual scavenging in Ahmedabad and the state.
It said, “There are 200 spots in Ahmedabad when dry latrines still exist, and where sanitary workers must clean them up manually every day. Many of them are employed as manhole workers and are forced to dangerously enter into gutters without any masks and other equipment, thus exposed to poisonous gases.”
Manhole worker files complaint
Two days after the representation, on November 30, a manual scavenger, Muljibhai Ambalal, filed a complaint with the police station in the well-off Vastrapur area, where he was forced to enter into the gutter in violation of the law, which prohibits manual scavenging.
Accompanied by Vaghela, Ambalal said in his complaint that he was “forced to enter into the gutter without any proper equipment”. He was not even made aware of the type of work which he was being forced to do before he was taken to the spot – near Sola Bridge, near Jognimata temple.

Comments

TRENDING

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Political consensus? Celebrations, with over 5,000 plus post-vaccine deaths in India

By Rosamma Thomas*  As India fully vaccinated nearly 20% of its population and celebrated the “milestone” of administering one billion (100 crore) Covid-19 vaccine doses, it was time to remember those who died shortly after vaccination . By October 20, 2021 Twitter handle C400T, tracking deaths reported to have occurred after receiving the Covid-19 shot in India, updated the 5,134th death.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Uttarakhand, Kerala disaster due to policies favouring India's developmental mafia

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Two of India’s most beautiful regions where thousands of people go to watch and feel the wonders of nature are suffering because of the extremely disastrous rains and floods. The pain that the rains brought to Kerala and Uttarakhand is a warning to all of us. It's nature’s warning to us to mend our ways.

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.

Religious mobs replicate blasphemy laws, 'threatening' liberty in a free country

Nihangs, Lakhbir Singh By Ajit Singh*   A Dalit man, Lakhbir Singh, was mercilessly beaten up and lynched to death near farmers’ protest site in the State of Haryana allegedly by Nihang Sikhs. It was alleged that he committed blasphemy by desecrating the Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib.