This will provide workers with access to lucrative, safer job opportunities.


Sanitation workers are linked to their jobs intergenerationally and lack the requisite skills and resources to transition to other job opportunities. The labour market is strongly determined by social networks, and sanitation workers find it impossible to be able to penetrate these rigid boundaries to get work even as manual labour. Given their low levels of skills and education, workers struggle to find other jobs even when they move geographies.

Bearing this in mind, we are proposing a solution titled ‘Employment Connect for Sanitation Workers’. Some preliminary ideas include incentives to companies for skilling and hiring sanitation workers, reservations for past workers in some non-sanitation jobs, soft skills training and stipends that make workers’ transitions to other jobs easier.

Sources of job opportunities

  • Incentives to companies for skilling and hiring sanitation workers; provisions such as tax rebates or qualification of spend as CSR can be provided as incentives
  • Reservations for jobs for sanitation workers in non-WASH sectors (public sector units, mid-day meal cooks, Anganwadi helpers, manufacturing units, etc.)

Interventions to facilitate access and transition

  • Incentive program for intermediaries (e.g., local CSOs) to provide non-WASH work in a family
  • Soft skills training by CSOs
  • Time-bound monthly stipend for sanitation workers migrating to lower-paying (but safer) jobs
  • Recruitment helpline for sanitation workers for information on:
    • Available employment opportunities or networks which provide employment opportunities
    • Livelihood schemes
    • Processes for application


Types of work: all

Gender: Male and female

Employment nature: Contractual (permanent unlikely to move out)

Personas: Caged bird and transient hustler


  • Accenture, ICICI Bank, Costa Coffee, JW Marriott train and hire people with disabilities (PWDs) – could be done similarly for sanitation workers
  • CSOs such as Enable India provide employability training to PWDs
  • Babajobs provides blue-collar jobs through telephony and apps for various multilingual job seekers


  • Identifying target segments within sanitation workers who are better placed for jobs
  • Identifying local employment opportunities and being able to match them with worker skills and aptitudes
  • Building the case for corporates to hire from the pool

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