Manual Scavenging

- a term used in Indian English for the removal of untreated human excreta from bucket toilets or pit latrines.

Considered as one of the lowest, polluted and most degrading occupations, manual scavenging is pretty widespread in our country with about 2.5 lakh people involved who earn less than ₹ 340 a day. 

Their lives are, to be blatantly honest, terrible. They are discriminated against, they stay in filth, and deaths in their community are common. The most shocking of all facts is that generations of only 'lower castes' are involved in this even after a law was passed in 2013 which declared this occupation illegal.

This poem is dedicated to those who we might see everyday but not really.

I live in a hole,
Source: BBC
Who am I, you ask?
Source: OutOfFrameTheBook
Source: LATimes
I was just a child once.
Source: BBC
Oh! the oppression I face, you can’t imagine.
Source: Chase
Cockroaches and insects of all sorts,
Source: Chase
I stay inside for hours clearing the rut,
Source: Chase
 
Source: Chase
I have been scared too, you know.
Source: GmbAkash
When I lift to my mouth a morsel of food
Source: BBC
A little more,
Source: BBC
I don’t talk a lot.
Source: Quartz
And so, I drown in spirits every night. 
Source: ScoopWhoop

This poem is a minute glimpse into the lives of these people. Their imaginable reality can only be felt when we put ourselves in their shoes. This hard-hitting documentary will take you right there.