By : M.S.Yatnatti Editor and Video Journalist Bengaluru : Pourakarmikas segregate wet and dry waste by hand and press it down with their feet before loading it into trucks for transport to dumping yards outside city. Many a time children and adult diapers reportedly contain human excreta and asking Pourakarmikas segregate wet waste children and adult diapers reportedly contain human excreta amounts to manual, scavenging . Forcing and Making Pourakarmikas without gloves, goggles and masks to Manually segregate human excreta by hand might attracts stringent punishment, including imprisonment up to five years as per Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act . As they pick up garbage with their bare hands, most pourakarmikas have viral infections, skin allergies and respiratory problems."Most of them have health problems but cannot afford treatment on their limited salaries," reportedly "Many don't have ESIC cards, which could give them access to free treatment, and they often catch severe infections due to their hazardous working conditions. It is shocking that the state government is neglecting a section of the workforce that doesn't live beyond 50 years and usually suffers painful deaths. Contractors often force the pourakarmikas to purchase their brooms despite the fact that BBMP grants funds for basic work gear, including boots, gloves, goggles and masks.While the use of short brooms has resulted in spinal problems for many , there are also escalating cases of deteriorating eyesight among garbage workers as they are exposed to dust from debris, activists working for welfare of garbage workers point out. "Officers like the health inspector should carry out checks on the working conditions of the pourakarmikas thus preventing exploitation and ill-treatment of workers across the state," Out of the 18,709 contract pourakarmikas, only 12,000 are actually in the force while over 6,600 are "ghost workers" who just remain on paper, says a study conducted by the Karnataka State Commission for Safai Karmacharis. Unlike the 3,178 pourakarmikas who are permanent employees of BBMP , the rest of the 18,000 sanitary workers are employed by solid waste management contractors appointed by BBMP. They take home Rs 7,034 after deductions for insurance and provident fund, compared to the Rs 20,000-plus that permanent employees are paid. A day's leave can cost a pourakarmika Rs 313.
I have filed appeal before FAA and deputy secretary UDD as PIO failed to inform me under section 4(I) (a) (b) (c) (d) RTI Actthe information and reasons under section 4(1) (d) for not taking action on as per directions issued in WP Nos 201021-022/201 to regularize the services of daily wage sweepers scavengers or purakarmikas either working on outsource or through contractors within six months from date of order in WP Nos 201021-022/2015 (S-RES) dated 5-06-20155 (S-RES) dated 5-06-2015 within 30 days. It is directed by HKHC in WP Nos 201021-022/2015 (s-res) dated 5-06-2015to all commissioners of BBMP ,city corporations of Tumkur Shivamogga , Vijayapura Mngalore Belgaum Bellary Davangere Huballi-Dharwad Kalburgi and Mysuru are directed to take appropriate and immediate steps to regularize the services of daily wade sweepers scavengers or purakarmikas either working on outsource or through contractors wthin six months from date of order. Discussion on abolishing contract labor or temporary employment for pourakarmikas had begun after the civic body in Haliyal in Uttar Kannada district regularised the services of its pourakarmikas following a High Court order. "We should remove the word temporary from the labour force's lexicon. The pourakarmikas should be taken as regular employees from the time they join work,” The exploitation of pourakarmikas at the hands of the contractors was so rampant that immediate measures should be taken to end the contract system.