This is an instance where technology has been successfully incorporated for social progress. In a laudable move, the Telangana government has introduced as many as 70 jetting machines in Hyderabad to end manual scavenging in the city.
Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board (HMWSSB) in association with the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) has introduced these machines at a cost of 20 crores, reports TOI. The former is responsible for its cleaning and maintenance.
Speaking at the launch on Environment Day, Telangana Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development, K.T. Rama Rao, said the government was committed to improving the working and living conditions of manual scavengers.
Also present was DICCI founder, Milind Kamble, who remarked that this initiative was “conceptualised to transform manual scavengers into entrepreneurs.”
Each machine cost 26 lakh, where 6 lakh was invested by the entrepreneurs and 20 lakh was provided for by SBI loan assistance. On Monday the machines were handed over to these ‘scavenger-labourers-turned-entrepreneurs’. They will be traversing the narrow gullies of the city starting today in order to clear clogged drains.
In addition to this, for the first time in India, bacteria-free uniforms are being provided for ‘sanitary soldiers’ who will be operating this jetting machine.
We hope that more states will wield the power of technology to eradicate practices like manual scavenging, taking cue from Telangana.