The writer is the national convener of RRI, India, and secretary of the Bhim Safai Karmachari Trade Union
Lack of data, failure to enforce provisions of Prevention of Employment of Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act are major reasons. The pandemic has only worsened the situation
Instead of focusing so heavily on building new toilets, we need to address the problems of actual toilet usage in rural India.
During the pandemic, manual scavengers kept entering septic tanks because we failed to provide them a safety net. Some migrant labourers also took up the work of scavenging.