Children in Gujarat, India, protest against caste-based discrimination
Hundreds of thousands of children in India are forced to eke out a living to support their families by sweeping streets, cleaning toilets and clearing garbage from public places. The children belong to what is known as the country’s ‘manual scavenging community’ – forced to live in subhuman conditions and engage in degrading work as a result of caste-based discrimination. About 1.3 million people in India are reportedly affected by this practice. On 17 August 2009, some 1000 children affected by manual scavenging participated in a protest March in Ahmedabad. Navsarjan, a local NGO in Gujarat, fighting against caste discrimination, organised the protest and has documented the following testimonies from children who face daily discrimination because of their caste.