The Department of Social Work, St Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangaluru, organized a one-day National Level Seminar on Manual Scavenging – METANOIA ’23 on 9th March 2023 in L F Rasquinha Hall, LCRI Block of the College.
Sri U.T. Khader, MLA, Mangalore Constituency was the Chief Guest and Sri A.C. Vinayaraj, Corporator, Mangalore City Coporation was the Guest of Honour. Principal, Rev. Dr Praveen Martis, SJ, presided over the program. Dr Deena D’Souza, Head of the Department of Social Work, Ms Kavya Aithappa, Convenor of the programme and Joshan John, the student coordinator were on the dais.
Sri U.T. Khader in his speech said, that the manual scavengers are very important people in our life. He called them social doctors and that without them it is difficult to keep our city clean. But at the same time, somewhere society neglects and keeps them away due to their work or caste. The duty of the society is to take responsibility of eradicating such social evils and show concern to such people. He urged the youth to spread awareness about cleanliness and hygiene in the society.
Sri A.C. Vinayaraj briefed about the difficulties of manual scavenging and the way they are treated by the society. He said that most of the lower caste people are engaged such kind of work and the upper caste will not take up such jobs. He urged the audience to take measures to prevent manual scavenging. He explained the problems and difficulties faced by the manual scavengers and requested the youth to understand their responsibility in the society.
Rev. Dr Praveen Martis, in his presidential remarks spoke on manual scavenging. He said that, we can achieve something when knowledge is combined with action. He urged the students to help the weaker sections of the society and that everyone should be treated with dignity.
This seminar was organized to educate and sensitize the audience on the practice of manual scavenging. The seminar discussed the close relationship between manual scavenging and caste, the health concerns related to its practice, the law and its implantation and finally, about organizing the movement towards the liberation of persons involved in the practice of manual scavenging.
3 sessions were held during the programme. Dr Sylvia Karpagam, Public Health Physician & Researcher took up the I Session. The II Session was taken up by Dr Siddarth Joshi, Activist & Researcher and the III Session was taken up by Ms Maitreyi, (AICCTU), Advocate and Mr Shanmugam V (AICCTU), Member of BBMP Pourakarmikara Sangha.
Neha Menon compered the programme. Johan John introduced the guests. Dr Deena DSouza welcomed the gathering. Ms Kavya proposed the vote of thanks.