“It was a cold October morning. Ray told me that he was going to enter the sewer tank which would have chilled water and it would get colder for him when he came out. He requested me to gather some firewood and light a bonfire to get him warm,” recollects Vipin Mandal about his late Co-worker Doman Ray.
Known as a man of few words and fewer desires, 32 YO Ray drowned in a sewer tank on Sunday morning in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri. A valve that he had opened could’ve possibly trapped him, as suspected.
Delhi Jal board had hired a private firm for the job. Vipin and Ray were working for the same firm and so was Sunil Mandal, Ray’s cousin allotted in West Delhi’s Janakpuri. As verified from Vipin’s salary slip, they were being paid RS 10,800 monthly for their service.
Ray had lost his father two decades back and his mother a year ago. He used to do every possible thing to be able to bring his wife and 1 YO daughter to Delhi from his village. He lived in a rented room in Keshopur area with 5 other roommates who shared the rent of RS 3000 per month among themselves. Sunil shared these pages from his cousin’s life.
He belongs to Baida village in Bihar’s Katihar district and is educated upto class 5. He and many little educated people like him have fled to Delhi from their native language and are risking their lives doing these dirty and dangerous jobs.
His elder brother, Dinesh who works as a chowkidaar in Bihar arrived at Delhi to collect his mortal remains on Monday.
Manual scavenging is not only ghastly but inhumane as a practice and is punishable under IPC. It must be abolished from a civilised society at least after so many innocent people lost their lives performing it.