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Children in Gujarat, India, protest against caste-based discrimination

20 August 2009

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.

Download the Navsarjan press release which includes personal testimonies, and visit the Navsarjan Trust’s website.