Millennium Post

Breadwinner Rishipal even worked on off days

In order to earn some extra money and to pay for the education of his three kids, Rishipal would even work during his off days, his family said.

NEW DELHI: Tragedy struck the family of Rishipal, a sewer cleaner, on Sunday, after he died while cleaning a manhole at LNJP Hospital here.
At LNJP hospital, Rishipal's wife Geeta seemed to be in shock and was not talking to anyone. His mother, meanwhile, could not hold back her tears.
The family members of the deceased told Millennium Post that he was the sole breadwinner of the family.
Along with his family of five, Rishipal used to live in the Welcome area of Delhi.
Like many fathers, he was determined to give a proper education to his children.
Brave co-worker fished out the bodies of Rishipal, two others
NEW DELHI: On Sunday, the brave efforts of Sumit were responsible for two of his fellow sewage cleaning coming out of the manhole at LNJP Hospital alive.
After seeing that three of his coworkers had collapsed inside the sewer, Sumit took the matter into his own hands to fish them out of the manhole.
For the life-threatening rescue work, Sumit risked his life three times, once each to fish out the unconscious bodies of Rishipal, Bishan and Kiran.
Talking to Millennium Post, eyewitnesses at the spot praised Sumit's efforts.
Vijay, another sanitation worker at the spot, said that when his colleagues failed to come out of the sewer, Sumit decided to go in without any protection.
He failed in his first attempt as the toxic gases thwarted his entry, but he somehow was able to come out.
"We provided him an oxygen cylinder, after which he entered the manhole several times and carried out the victims with his bare hands," said Vijay.
Sumit told this newspaper that they were no stairs to step in and out of the manhole. So, Rishipal told him to get a ladder.
"Rishipal was the first one to enter the manhole, with the help of rope. When he was inside, I asked him if everything was alright, and he said yes. After some time, there was no response. I shouted several times, and then decided to go in," says Sumit.
"But then, I started feeling unconscious. So I somehow came up and fell to the ground," he says.
When Sumit regained consciousness, he came to know that Kiran and Bishan too had gone in and failed to come out.
"Soon, I decided to go in and was given an oxygen mask and cylinder to go inside the manhole. One by one, I managed to carry all of them out, but lost his consciousness in the end," says Sumit. Later, Sumit was shifted to hospital.
Other sanitation workers were very proud of his efforts sewer man and also applauded his courage.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police have also added Section 9 of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilition Act of 2013 in their case of Rishipal's death.
In order to earn some extra money for his family and to pay for the studies of his three kids, Rishipal would even work during his off days, his family said.
Rishipal's mother Sheela Devi said that early Sunday morning, her son left for work. However, she never thought he would return home dead.
"My son never cared about his problem, just for his children and family. He worked and avoided leaves from his job, as he was the only person in the family who was earning money," a distraught Sheela Devi said.
Another relative, Jaiveer, said that though Sunday was an off day for Rishipal, his contractor called him up for some urgent work.
17-year-old Yogesh, Rishipal's son, says that his father had promised that he will buy a computer for them this year, which would help his kids for their studies.
"You give 100 per cent to your studies. I am working for you: My father had said to me," said Yogesh.
Another son Aditya says that before going to work, his father would always wake him, so that he could get ready for school.
The family says that they want the government to come to their help and to support the education of the children.
The family also expressed their anger at the fact that Rishipal was not provided any safety equipment while entering the manhole.
Eyewitnesses told Millennium Post that when they took out the victims from the sewer, none of them were wearing any protective gears.
Some of them had even left their slippers near the spot of the accident before entering the manhole.
"When we pulled them out, some of the victims were only wearing a vest and an underwear. All other sanitation workers, who reached the spot after receiving the news of the incident, carried the victims on their shoulders, while some were taken on a stretcher to the hospital," said Vijay, a fellow sanitation worker.
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