The one who cleans your rooms, the person who sweeps out your mess, the person who keeps your streets and country clean, do you remember their names? They are sweepers who work all day to provide you with a clean environment.
They handle your mess which you very proudly splatter all over in your environment. They clean up your careless attitude of spotting the surroundings with your wastes. They clean all your mistakes yet they lead a life full of sorrows and miseries.
Their life is full of hardships since they generally belong to economically weaker sections. But they are at the receiving end of lots of prejudice and discrimination since the society views them with malicious eyes.
They are outcast as Dalit’s and socially weaker sections. This prevalent discrimination in society devoid they of a lot of opportunities and then they are unable to represent themselves in the society.
History of sweeper
Their biased and bad treatment can be traced back to the caste system that plagued the roots of our society. Back in history, our society was divided by some influential people on the basis of their professions. Brahmans, Kshatriyas, vaishyas and Shudras.
But back then the intention was not to assert the ranking of any group of people. But people misinterpreted the meaning of this caste system and used it to divide the society on racial lines. The Shudras were termed as outcastes as they were designated to do the menial work of the upper castes.
They faced a lot of discrimination and cruel treatment at the hands of the so called upper castes. The social hierarchy system trickled down from one generation to another generation and seeped deep into the system and working of the society. The importance of Shudras was not recognized back then.
But as time passed on, their condition degraded to even worse conditions than before. Finally, their importance in the society was established by Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar through their incessant efforts. They are termed as Dalit’s before. But Gandhi called them ‘harijans’ or messengers of god.
Gandhi’s dream was not just a free India but also a clean India. He uplifted them in the society. B.R. Ambedkar worked very hard to give Dalit’s the position and status they are entitled to in the society.
Due to their consulted efforts, the government now recognizes them and aids them in a lot of ways to help impose their standard of living. But the society still fails to recognize them in a proper manner. It despairs their rights and this practice of untouchability still continues.
On paper untouchability has been abolished but in the mindsets of people, it is still etched deep. Though cases of cruel treatment have decreased over the years, yet the reality remains the same. The society still think very less of them. They put on a mask for the fear of law but their mindsets remain the same towards the sweepers.
Role of Sweepers
In our country, the municipality manages the system of sweepers. It deploys a sweeper for each and every area to keep a check on its cleanliness. Even today there are villages which do not have modern day facilities like banks, transport infrastructure etc but they do have sweepers to dust off their roads and belongings.
If seen properly, it would not be difficult to say that without sweepers no life is actually possible. Our homes will stink with the stench of undisposed garbage.
This garbage is also home to a lot of diseases. Diseases would spread at an increasing rate if cleanliness is not maintained on regular basis. Cleanliness is pious. God resides in cleanliness. This is why we clean our homes before Diwali. So, no! Their job is not menial. It is pious in the eyes of god and should be pure in the eyes of human too.
Internal cleanliness is as important as outward cleanliness. Our mind is filled with all kinds of filthy thoughts. We need to keep a check on our thoughts. We should become our own sweepers to get rid of any useless thoughts. The idea is to illuminate our soul with positivity and chuck out the negativity from our lives.
Even our body makes use of some internal processes to eliminate the waste and sweep our inner system clean and healthy. The idea of practicing meditation lies in the fact that it helps you to contemplate your own thoughts and actions.
It reflects on your wrong actions and guides you on a path of intellectualism and optimism. This is only possible when we learn to accept positivity and learn to drive away negativity.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
The Modi Government’s initiative of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan would not have been possible without the cooperation of sweepers. Modi even raised their incomes and encouraged them to take an active part in the Abhiyan. Modi might be the mastermind behind this movement but it was the cooperation of people especially sweepers that made the movement successful.
Without sweepers, we won’t have the privileges to walk on clean streets and roads. We owe them big time for these luxuries of a clean India. Modi has even brought in pace a waste disposal system which is centralized by the MCD of that state or area. It has provided a very efficient way of maintaining cleanliness through a well developed network of sweepers.
Sweepers form an integral part of life and they help us out with various chores. They do give extra assistance to all citizens. Old people, children and working professionals are especially indebted to them for their services. They just make life a little easier for everyone while they themselves live a difficult life.
Their bodies are always acting from the tedious work they do. Their day starts way before than the rest of the population so as to cater to the needs of cleanliness. Their job is hard but nonetheless they do it for us. They should be treated with utmost respect and honour in the society for their major contribution to it.