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Sanitation worker Ravi Bhalerao gets a salaried job, thanks to HWTC

Ravi Trimbak Bhalerao used to clean drains, toilets and even septic tanks to earn money for his family.

News18.com | Updated: February 11, 2022, 12:51 PM IST

Ravi Trimbak Bhalerao used to clean drains, toilets and even septic tanks to earn money for his family. He changed many jobs in the sanitation sector for better payment so that he could take care of his family and children. But unfortunately none of the jobs lasted long.

He recalls,“The worst day in my life was when my children fell sick, and there was no one to help me. I needed to do better for myself and for my kids. I had changed many jobs, but they were all in sanitation, and none that lasted long or paid me well. I have been a drain cleaner, a toilet cleaner and even cleaned septic tanks; anything to earn money for my family.”

However, the training at Harpic World Toilet College, Aurangabad changed his life forever. Post his training at Harpic World Toilet College, Ravi now works as a housekeeper at Sterlite Industries in Aurangabad.

“I used to be very brash—my experiences had hardened me, I suppose. But my training taught me soft skills and I have become gentle in my approach—I know because I can feel the change in me,” says Ravi.

Ravi has also experienced a change in attitude of his colleagues towards him. “They now applaud me for my knowledge. I feel respected,” he says.

In India manual scavenging still persists despite the ban on it. It is often expected to be done by people who belong to so-called lower castes, making them the poorest and most vulnerable people in the society. The Harpic World Toilet College was established, in August 2018, in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad by Reckitt, the British health and hygiene products giant, in association with Jagaran Pehel to train the sanitation workers. Most of the sanitation workers trained at the college have got jobs in different organisations and are living a dignified life.

‘101 Stories of Inspiration’, a coffee table book, contains many stories of transformation of sanitation workers like Ravi.  The book was launched at Mission Paani World Toilet Day event on November 19, 2021.

Mission Paani, a News 18 – Harpic India initiative, is a campaign on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for all.

Join the Mission Paani Movement.

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