Sanitation workers demand dignity, recognition

KATHMANDU: Sanitation workers of Kathmandu have demanded that their job be recognised with dignity.

Speaking at a consultation on sanitation issues and challenges of sanitation and waste workers, organized by GUTHI in collaboration with Kathmandu Metropolitan City, and supported by Fresh Water Action Network South Asia (FANSA) today, they asserted that they too are an integral part of community.

“We are a part of this society and work with garbage to keep the city clean and earn a respectful livelihood," Maya Tamang, a sanitation worker shared her experience at the event, "But the society has never recognised us as a part of it.”

The city cleaners had shared their numerous challenges along with social obligation and hatred they face every day.

Expressing their frustration over people’s 'inhuman' treatment, Dipen Tamang, a waste picker said, “What hurts the most is we collect waste and keep the city clean, but we are said to be dirty and people do not wish to come close and throw their waste from the roof."

"Do not we deserve a simple courtesy from community?” he questioned.

"The plight of these sanitation workers extends even further with their income and concerns of livelihood," the GUTHI Programme Coordinator Pratap Maharjan said.