Six workers have died while cleaning a septic tank at a private apartment in Nemili area in Tamil Nadu's Kanchipuram district. In January, two siblings suffocated to death while they were cleaning a septic tank near Coimbatore district. According to a report in The New Indian Express, the two men, Murugan and Pandi Durai, were cleaning a septic tank at the Thiru Nagar Housing Unit when the incident took place.
More than 20,500 people have been identified as involved in manual scavenging in India, with Uttar Pradesh accounting for nearly 6,000 of them, according to a survey being conducted by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment across 18 states.
An earlier survey conducted over a period of three years (2014-17), based on figures provided by states, had estimated there were 13,770 manual scavengers in the country, officials said. Some states like Gujarat, Kerala and Maharashtra had even denied the existence of persons engaged in manual scavenging in their territories, however, the latest ongoing survey has revealed that manual scavenging was prevalent even in these states.