Dear all, This blog I just happened to read in our msn.India. I think this subject is an eye-opener and we have to change our attitude towards them (The cleaners). Please read on and I thank Ms.Vidya Hariharan for her thoughtful write-up Garbage: The unwanted, Cleaner: The most wanted -by Vidya Hariharan Monday, January 21, 2008 A few years back, I saw a drain being repaired. Since it was a huge drain, it was a large scale job with several heavy equipments deployed at the site. But I noticed that there were around 10-15 people forming a human chain to carry the filth by hand from the drain and dump it in the truck. It is anybody’s guess as to what all would have been the composition of such filth in a residential locality. I couldn’t even watch them do it, it gave me creeps. I passed by, the image stays with me till date. Why did they have to do such a gory job? Days passed by and one fine day, the drain at my home choked. Despite several efforts it wouldn’t open up. So, I had to call a plumber who turned up with another man, the cleaner. They definitely resolved my problem, but not without the cleaner having to dirty his hands. Why did he have to do such a gory job? Almost everyday we see the garbage van manned by people standing precariously at the edge of the van. Many a times the filth that they accompany is so stinky that we avoid following the truck. Why do these people have to live such a miserable life? The “cleaners” are as essential to our lives as oxygen. We just cannot live without them. Yet, we barely pay them, let alone respect their existence. Many of them report drunk to work, because that’s the only way they can handle the job. Most of them are into drugs, because it transports them to a better world. These are the people who let us breath fresh air and walk on clean roads and live in clean residential localities. They are doing us a huge favor and our insensitiveness is soon going to give rise to a rebellion. Lets be more sensitive and help them to live a life with dignity. Cleaning should ideally be one of the highly paid jobs. Lets stop neglecting these fellow beings. They also have families and they also have babies and elderly people back home. Lets teach them to live a dignified life. The first steps have to be taken by us. We have to begin the movement. And this will be one of the pre-requisites for the GenNext India. Can we replace the manual labor involved in the cleaning operations of drainage systems and garbage collection in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1lace w:st="on">India</st1lace></st1:country-region>?