The Men Who Clean Mumbai's Sewer System by Hand

#Workplace

Tue, Dec 17th, 2013 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

On the list of shitty jobs, being a sewer man in Mumbai is probably in the top ten. Armed with nothing more than a safety helmet, these men crawl in areas filled with human and chemical waste and clean the pipes to ensure nothing clogs up. The video is a bite-sized documentary from the Vocativ channel.

Every day Mumbai produces enough sewage to fill 4,500 Olympic-size swimming pools. Despite the many modern comforts of Mumbai, the sewer system is outdated and is still cleaned by hand. At least once a year the manhole covers are removed and a worker is lowered down with only a helmet for protection. The worker then scoops out the sludge consisting of both human and industrial waste that has been collecting in the pipes. It is not uncommon for Indian sewer workers to become ill or die from the toxic fumes. Indian Parliament recently passed a law in an effort to improve these poor working conditions, but many are doubtful that the new measures will make a difference.

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