Have you imagined working a job where you don’t get time off, not even when you are sick? Where you have to work on public holidays and festivals. Where you have to suffer the stench of the city’s garbage. Where your back hurts from bending over for almost eight hours. This is how the pourakarmikas suffer, silently, to ensure that Bengaluru’s roads are kept clean. But lack of adequate health care is causing their health to deteriorate.
Krishnakumari, who works as a Pourakarmika in Bengaluru, says, "I work from 6 am to 3 pm. During this time, we have no place to urinate. We work for six to seven hours and the whole time we do not drink water as we are scared that we may want to urinate. If we want to urinate, we don’t have security. We have to do it in open spaces or sit between parked cars and urinate. This is a big problem. For this reason we don’t drink water and we get a lot of infections."
"When we tell the BBMP authorities, no one listens to us. They say, ‘we will help today, we will help tomorrow’. But nothing has been done and we are facing a lot of problems," she adds.
It is not just dehydration or lack of toilets that affect Bengaluru’s pourakarmikas but the hard physical labour too is causing their health to deteriorate gradually. The health camps conducted by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike show that 31% of the Pourakarmikas suffer from chronic pain.
Watch this video where Pourakarmikas themselves explain how their health is affected because the city and its residents don't seem to care enough.
Who will care for the lifelines of Bengaluru? Pourakarmikas' health at stake
Who will care for the lifelines of Bengaluru? Pourakarmikas' health at stakePosted by TheNewsMinute on Friday, 29 November 2019