Dalit Sanitation Worker Dies by Suicide in Gram Panchayat Office in Telangana

It is claimed that his salary has not been paid for the past four months

Dalit sanitation worker

A video with disturbing visuals is doing rounds on social media. In the video, a man can be seen having died by suicide while a group of women can be seen and heard crying. As is being alleged, a Dalit sanitation worker died by suicide in gram panchayat office in BibipetMandal, Kamareddy district of Telangana. It is being alleged that the deceased was pushed to this point due to the non-payment of his salary since past after 4 months.

A large group of women can be seen sitting near the spot where the deceased’s body is still hanging. The loud cries of these women are enough to chill the bones.

The video can be viewed here:

Sewer and other sanitation workers’ struggles against contractorisation and poor working conditions are strongly intertwined to their struggles against a lack of state oversight for hazardous working conditions. For years now, sanitation workers forced to engage in manual scavenging have demanded an acknowledgement of their rights and proper equipment like sewage cleaning machines to do the work without endangering their lives. And now, they are being pushed to suicides due to non-payment of salaries.

Families of as many as 12 sanitation workers who have died since 2020, did not receive due compensation for their kin, reported the Times of India on March 26, 2022. The prolonged negligence and exploitation of Dalit sanitation workers is suggestive of the dynamics present in our society, in which caste determines occupation and employer-employee relations are individualised, based on patronage and oppression. 


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