Parameswaran Iyer might be a senior IAS officer and the Secretary to the Union ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation but in a move that left several in awe, he got down to empty a twin toilet pit with his own hands. 


As part of the Swachh Bharat initiative, Parameswaran Iyer had reached Gangadevipalli in Warangal district on February 18, accompanied by 40 bureaucrats, 23 principal secretaries associated with the rural development departments as well as representatives of the UNICEF.

They were there to study the twin pit toilet technology which converts human faeces into manure over a period of time. As clearing toilets has been associated with casteist oppression, especially in rural India where cleaning faeces is considered dirty or menial work, Iyer has set an intelligent example for others to follow. As villagers and bureaucrats watched him clear manure with bare hands, other bureaucrats joined in to help him. 

The action earned him praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who thanked organisations and the government for carrying forward the campaign with dedication but mentioned Iyer specially on his 29th episode of Mann Ki Baat. 

Iyer himself tweeted about cleaning toilets as part of the Swach Bharat Abhiyan in Warangal.

Iyer’s commendable actions as well as images of other high level officers sweeping streets will go a long way in removing the taint associated with manual scavenging, ushering in instead, more cognizance about the need for proper sanitation.