A Week After Modi’s Feet Washing Photo Op, Two Sanitation Workers Die in His Constituency Varanasi
"No accountability. Silence continues. What a shame!" said Safai Karmachari Andolan national convenor Bezwada Wilson.
Other than cleaning their feet (in room full of cameras), the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government doesn’t appear to care much about sanitation workers. Despite Modi’s best efforts at cleaning feet on camera, sanitation workers continue to die, the latest case being in the Prime Minister’s Lok Sabha constituency — Varanasi.
As per an Amar Ujala, two workers died while cleaning sewer pipelines laid by L&T in Cantt Thana area of Varanasi. Chandan, a resident of Shivpuri in Varanasi, along with Rajesh and Umesh hailing from Motihari in Bihar, had reportedly entered the sewers at 4 am. Around 4.30 am the wall of the chamber inside collapsed, leading to the three workers getting stuck. While Umesh managed to escape, Chandan and Rajesh did not.
When the police finally recovered the bodies of the two workers and attempted to transfer them to the Deendayal Hospital for post-mortem examination, angered workers from the around the area attacked them and even pelted them with stones, reported Amar Ujala.
Bezwada Wilson, the national convenor of the Safai Karmachari Andolan tweeted regarding this incident: “Two more killed today in PM’s own constituency, Varanasi. No accountability. Silence continues. What a shame!”
— Bezwada Wilson (@BezwadaWilson) March 1, 2019
Wilson has been critical of Narendra Modi’s inactions regarding manual scavenging deaths in the past as well., in a series of tweets, Wilson castigated Modi for his act of cleaning the feet of sanitation workers in Allahabad. Wilson said, “Clean your mind not our feet, Mr PM! Highest form of humiliation. 1.6 lakh women still forced to clean shit, not a single word in five years. What a shame!”
Wilson also lashed out at the PM for keeping mum on deaths caused by manual scavenging in India. “105 people killed in sewer and septic tanks in 2018 alone. He kept mum. Now washing feet. Justice not rituals, Mr PM!,” he tweeted.