Urban News

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Community Development

Thiruvathipuram Municipality to undertake census on manual scavengers

Print PDF

The Hindu       25.07.2014  

Thiruvathipuram Municipality to undertake census on manual scavengers

 The Thiruvathipuram Municipality will be undertaking on behalf of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, a census of scavengers and their dependents in the Thiruvathipuram (Cheyyar) municipal limits from July 28 to August 3.

According to a release from the Municipal Commissioner, Thiruvathipuram, the census is to be undertaken to identify those engaged in the manual cleaning of open sewage channels, septic tanks and the manual removal of human stool from those places as well as from railway tracks in unhygienic conditions.

The scavengers have been requested to participate furnish necessary information, in the prescribed self-declaration form.

Members of the public and voluntary organizations have been requested to publicise the census among the manual scavengers.

For further details, one can contact S. Balasubramanian, Thiruvathipuram Municipality (cell: 80569 54469,

email: commr.thiruvathipuram@



Ragpickers now have a shelter

Print PDF

The Hindu               18.12.2013

Ragpickers now have a shelter

living on the fringes:Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam
living on the fringes:Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The past eight years, 14-year-old Sasidharan spent most of his days picking waste at the Kodungaiyur dumping yard in north Chennai.

The streets of Kodungaiyur have been his home, giving him sleepless nights, what with having to cope with the cold/heat, mosquitoes and dogs sniffing at his ankles.

But the past three days have been different for a handful of boys like Sasidharan as they now have a place to live in.

A newly-inaugurated shelter — supported by the Chennai Corporation and run by Arunodhaya, a centre for street and working children — in R.R. Nagar, Kodungaiyur, has opened its doors to boys involved in ragpicking at the yard.

“We conducted a study on children picking waste at the dumping yard and identified 25 boys. Most of them had no education, suffered from poor health, addiction to alcohol and also drug abuse,” said Virgil D’Sami, executive director of Arunodhaya.

The shelter, according to her, was the first step towards intervention for the boys. “This is a transit place where they can stay. We will motivate them to study and trace their families. If they do not have a family, we can send them to institutions. We are working on linking with nearby Chennai schools and vocational training centres,” she said.

Inaugurated on December 13, the shelter now has eight boys. “These boys, aged between 12 and 18, are mostly orphans or have single parents or have run away from home. Some of them said they had slept in gunny bags, unable to tolerate the chill at night,” said Santhana Mary, thematic facilitator, Arunodhaya.

Sasidharan, who ran away from his home in Andhra Pradesh, allegedly due to ill-treatment, said, “I collect waste from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the yard and earn at least Rs. 300 per day. I have been sleeping peacefully after coming to the shelter.”

Fourteen-year-old Kumar is also happy at the shelter. “I had been living alone after my parents died a year ago. When it rained, I slept inside share autos. Now, I have a place to stay at and sleep in. The shelter has fans and mats for us,” he said.

P. Kuganantham, health officer of the Corporation, said this was part of their initiative to set up night shelters for the homeless. “The purpose of this home is to provide food, accommodation, education and rehabilitation for boys involved in ragpicking,” he said.


Washermen demand facilities

Print PDF

The New Indian Express                 14.03.2013

Washermen demand facilities

Washermen working at the ghat near Muthumandapam, of ward-59 of the Vellore Corporation, have sought water pipelines and renovation of the decrepit godown and drainage facilities in the area.

More than 65 washermen live in the area while dhobis from other areas also work there. They have been washing clothes on the nearby Palar riverbed for several years. The then Vellore Municipality had constructed 60 washing stones with water tubs and a godown in September 1963.

“Of the 60 stones, 20 were recently demolished for the construction of a Animal Birth Control Programme Centre, while 20 more have been unused since 1963 due to absence of pipelines,” said P Ravi, president of the Vellore City Washermen Union. He added that bushes were growing near the unused stones.

The washermen complained that they received water for only about 15 minutes in a day as two bore wells, which were sunk for their use about 5 years ago, were going dry. They claimed that this delayed their work.

Sivakumar, deputy secretary of the union said, “There is no drainage line. This makes the place marshy. The water can either be released into the ground or connected to the nearby sewage treatment plant.”


Page 2 of 7