'Kasa'... 'Kasa'.... is how most of people address pourakarmikas who keep our surrounding clean. Caste discrimination, untouchability, addressing them unrespectfully are the societical issues faced by pourakarmikas who collect wastes from households daily.
Sharing their pain with Express, a couple of pourakamikas said that they are addressed very rudely. They say very few people address them respectfully, smile to them, and consider them as human beings.
While some people hand over the waste standing from a distance, there are even residents who refuse to handover the waste basket to the pourakarmikas. Few of the residents have kept a separate dust bin in a corner of a house compound, in which they dump the garbage of house, and the pourakarmikas have asked to empty the container daily. They wont take the dustbin inside house, as it will be touched by pourakarmikas.
Pourakarmika Vishnu said: 'When we go to collect garbage, few residents treat us badly and we wont even get due respect. They literally dump waste on roadsides and ask us to clean taunting us it's our job.' MCC Pourakarmika Association President Mara who also admitted that they are treated badly, and untouchability is practiced, said that there are few households who throw waste tied in a cover, so the dustbins are not touched.
Tamil Nadu People's Watch Director and Amnesty International Germany's human rights awardee Henri Tiphangne said that unless conscious of equality is really inclined in us and all forms of discrimination are fought nothing else will change the situation.
“Whatever legislation we bring, as long as people believe they are not equal, they will find different ways on importing their superiority on others. The most important thing is to make people understand one is equal. The equality does not come only by economic status, it comes by understanding equality. Cases should be booked against such people and they have to be punished. Let people address the pourakarmikas by their name or 'Sir',” he added.
While the civilised citizenry say that the mindset of the people of should change and address pourakarmikas with due respect. They opine a general name has to be given for pourakarmikas or they should be given a name badge tag so that the people can address them by their names.
Safai Karmachari former Chairperson Narayan said that popurakarmikas have to get their due respect and there is need of providing name badge, uniform for even pourakarmikas working on temporary basis. Pourakarmikas should complain against households who fail to give due respect, he added.