Pourakarmikas Health at Risk

City Environment

Pourakarmikas who keep the city clean are prone to dangerous exposures by not wearing hand gloves.

Bengaluru, Nov. 21, 2018.

Latha, a pourakarmika who has been working for five years now said, “Though they have gloves, they do not wear them as they find them very uncomfortable”.

M. Saritha, another pourakarmika said, “I was not been given any safety equipment”. She said her co-worker “has suffered with cholera due to the conditions she had worked in without safety equipment”.

Dr. Sandhya, who has been educating the pourakarmikas said, “The BBMP has provided them with safety mask, gloves and boots for them to work in conditions where they need to pick garbage and other dirty particles”.

She explained that they are happy with the apron which is provided by the BBMP. The contractor of the BBMP who works with the pourakarmikas is given Rs. 1500 per worker to buy them safety equipment. The gloves are provided in three sizes.  For shoes they have two sizes medium and large, but they might not be comfortable for them as their sizes differ.

Dr. Malatesh ,a general physician said, “Labourers do not wear  gloves while cleaning, which leads to communicable diseases like cholera, malaria, water-borne diseases, dengue and other respiratory diseases”.

He added that they do not have proper awareness of these safety equipment. Educational programs should be conducted for them and explain as to what diseases they could be effected with.

Dr. C.H. Sridhar, specialized in community medicine said, “The pourakarmikas do not wear safety equipment as it is not comfortable for them. Strict labour rules for the pourakarmikas should be implemented and charge them fine so that they follow the measures”.