Amid fears of Covid spread, safai karamcharis forced to work without safety gear

Amid fears of Covid spread, safai karamcharis forced to work without safety gear

Amid fears of Covid spread, rag pickers and garbage lifters are forced to work without any protective gear. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Harshraj Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17

Amid growing fears over the Covid-19 outbreak, safari karmacharis, garbage pickers and sewer men are forced to work without safety gears. Despite being aware of the risks, they can be seen performing their duties. These employees come in contact of various kinds of waste in routine due to which, the chances of catching any disease remains high in absence of safety gears.

Sharing their concern, activists and a Congress leader have sought from the authorities to provide masks and gloves to private as well as MC workers so that they can be protected from the disease. They also said hand sanitisers, along with safety kits, should also be provided to these workers.

Congress leader Parminder Mehta said sweepers, sewer men and garbage collectors work without any safety gear. “There is a dire need to pay attention towards these employees who are forced to work without any protective gears, to make the city clean. The MC authorities should take necessary steps for the safety of these workers. I will take up the matter with the higher authorities to provide masks and gloves to these workers at the earliest,” he said.

State convener of the Safai Karamchari Andolan Subash Desawar said: “Safai workers, sewer men and garbage collectors working in private as well as government sectors are waiting for government’s attention. These persons work under threat of catching the disease in absence of any protection gear. The garbage collectors lift different kind of waste, without having gloves and masks.”

“The authorities concerned should wake up and take necessary measures to ensure safety of all these workers at the earliest. These workers should be provided masks, gloves, sanitisers, soaps and other necessary gear for their protection. Even the authorities concerned should ensure their health examination timely,” he said.

Senior Deputy Mayor Sham Sundar Malhotra said: “I will discuss the matter with the Mayor and take necessary steps to provide masks, gloves and other required protection gear for the workers.”

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