While one part of humanity lives in opulence, another part sees its own dignity denied, scorned or trampled upon, and its fundamental rights discarded or violate. What does this tell us about the equality of rights grounded in innate human dignity?” Pope Francis (Fratelli Tutti, Para.22)

India is a land of many contradictions and one of the most outstanding of them is the ability to live in peace with extreme inhumanity in the midst of sublime ‘spirituality’. We boast about ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,’ while  practising untouchability and castebased discrimination. Our politicians, immaculately clad, steal the limelight for the ‘Swatch Bharat Abhiyan’ while our unsung heroes disappear in sewers and septic tanks inhaling toxic gases. Imagine a day in the life of a manual scavenger, who gets up early in the morning to clean and carry human excreta with bare hands or using buckets and brooms or having to descend the sewers and septic tanks emanating toxic gases for a livelihood.

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