Highly regimented urban labour market:
Formal and semi-formal occupations (manufacturing, service sector, loading jobs, etc.) are reliant on caste-based networks.
- Workers find it difficult to break into other casual labour markets, poor employer acceptance; even in rural areas, there is denial of opportunities as NREGA workers due to discrimination from dominant groups.
Poor access to education and housing restricts access to opportunities:
Lower education/skills and denial of free access to housing restrict employment opportunities as workers are spatially tied to their jobs.
- The average worker we spoke to dropped out of school in the 5th grade, no alternate skills.
- Workers find it difficult to relocate to better jobs in different locations due to denial of housing opportunities from upper castes.
Education and skill for the younger sanitation workers and the next generation is crucial to overcome the artificial barrier to entry; need incentives to employees for hiring these workers.
This insight applies to all types of unsafe sanitation work:
What this entails: Unblocking and cleaning sewer and wastewater drains
Frequency: Complaint-based, seasonal (rainy season) and occasionally for preventive maintenance
Location: Urban areas
What this entails: Emptying, collection and transport of human waste from septic tanks on an on-demand basis
Frequency: De-sludging frequency varies greatly, ranging from 6 months to 10-15 years
Location: Primarily urban, mostly unplanned localities
What this entails: Cleaning faecal matter from railway tracks and platforms,railway toilets and platform toilets
Frequency: several times a day
Location: Rail network and railway stations
What this entails: Emptying of dry/single-pit latrines primarily in rural areas; daily collection and transport/emptying of fecal matter
Location: Primarily rural
What this entails: Maintaining and operating sewage and faecal sludge treatment plants on a daily basis
Location: Urban, across the ~527 STPs/FSTPs in India
What this entails: Maintaining public/community toilets (often insanitary) on a daily basis
Location: Rural and urban CTCs, mostly in slums; public convenience shelters
What this entails: Operating and maintaining school toilets on a daily basis
Location: Schools – rural and urban
What this entails: Cleaning open drains and road sweeping, often encountering fecal matter due to open defecation and insanitary latrines connected to drains
Location: Urban – drains alongside roads
What this entails: Cleaning toilets in middle-high income households/institutions, encountering insanitary conditions at times
Location: Urban areas