Millennium Post

Poverty forced Kishan to settle for drain cleaner's job

Poverty forced Kishan to settle for drain cleaners job

New Delhi: Kishan, who died while cleaning drain, was earlier working as a construction labourer. But somehow he lost the work which forced him to opt for drainage job. His family claimed that for risking his life inside drains, he used to get paltry Rs 300 through which the family of five fed. Inside Kishan's tiny shanty, his wife Indu was sitting with three children aged (14, 10, and 11 years). The shanty roof was covered with the plastic sheets. The family cooked food in mud hearth with the help of wooden logs.

"From one and half month, I have been suffering from fever; my husband was only bread and butter earner for the family," said Indu. The family is originally from Chattisgarh and came to Delhi several years ago. "He used to get Rs 300 and somehow we were able to feed ourselves." The area where the family lives had unpaved roads and the residents claimed that in name of sanitation facilities only few porta toilets are installed.

Hired workers were not professionals: Cops

Investigator claimed that they are searching for the suspect Anil (contractor) in the case. "None of the labourers taken for drain cleaning were professionals and we will also scan the contract details in the case," investigator claimed. One Manoj, a labourer, was also called to work with Kishan. He stated that he had asked for mask and rope before getting inside drain which was not given to him. "They only gave us wooden bamboo and told us to go inside," said Manoj. After the incident, the contractor present at the site fled the spot, he further added. "Kishan and I went inside the drain he got trapped in the garbage I came out," said 60-year-old Umesh, another labourer.

How the labourers were hired for drainage work:

No proper mechanism was adopted to hire these labourers. Investigators claimed that labourers were asked by the hirer whether they know swimming and later hired them. "A resident of Jagatpur told us about the drain work we have only seen the hirer at the spot and at the time of trouble, he left us alone," said Manoj.

NHRC issues notice

New Delhi: The NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that a 37-year worker died on Sunday afternoon after he entered a drain to clean it in north Delhi's Timarpur. The Commission has observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, amount to gross violation of human rights of the victim.

Accordingly, the NHRC has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Delhi, to submit a detailed report four weeks about the instant case, as well as the other similar incidents over the past two years in the city. The report should also specify the legal action taken against the persons, who had employed the victim in sewerage cleaning without providing him with proper safety gear.

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