Banpani: Experiences of Safai Karamcharis During Floods

Recently, the spate of Assam floods has once again alerted the nation to the
devastating repercussions of a calamity. Back in the day, silt-rich floods used to bring with it a promise of a bountiful harvest- a direct contrast to its erosive nature today. Being prone to flooding, the region and its residents had anticipated the phenomenon this year, but not its grave magnitude. Safai karamcharis are sanitation workers who are allocated the duty of thorough
cleaning and maintaining hygiene standards. Their duties range from brooming, mopping, cleaning the toilets and drains to collecting garbage. Their work obligations increased manifolds during floods in Guwahati. Since improper drainage systems are the primary cause of urban floods, sanitation workers in the area are expected to put in extra hours to clean pipelines and dispose off debris.