A turn around is possible
July 8, 2023
Criminal Exploitation of Coolies
July 25, 2023

15, 16, 17

How illegal wage of Rs 15000 is paid to 16 and 17 year old sanitation workers.

The East India Company may have existed many years ago. It has however left deep marks of cruelty, exploitation, loot and plunder, that many of our organisations continue to imbibe and imitate. The Sindh Solid Waste Management Board SSWMB, is one such example of some one having perfected this art.   Let us examine how a country reeling under debt and surviving either on loans  or on temporarily parked money, squanders its own resources.

For the simplest of all tasks i.e.  cleaning the streets of Karachi, the SSWMB contracts out the job to three Chinese companies – paying them approximately  Rs 7.3 billion each year.  Interestingly not a single Chinese person actually cleans the streets of Karachi.  The task is sub-let to multiple layers of Pakistani subcontractors, each extracting his own cut and in the process diluting the funds left for those who actually perform the job.  Thus from what was paid to the Chinese companies (Rs7.3 billion in 2021-2022) an oppressed, helpless and  exploited sanitation worker receives a miserable, measly and illegal wage of Rs15,000 – far below the Sindh Government’s own declared min wage of Rs25,000 per month.


The sanitation workers are essentially daily wagers, many far below the age of 18. Please see SSWMB 21 July 23 salary 15 16 17 – YouTube          They have no identity, no bank account and  no record of service.  They have no EOBI and no Social Security, for they exist in no formal records.  A day’s absence means no salary  for that day. They work  in unhygienic conditions with no safety  shoes, gloves, masks or hats.  Call it slavery, child Labour, human right violations or all of them combined in one.


Citizens on numerous occasions  have repeatedly  informed the SSWMB, the Government of Sindh, the Labour Department  and the Human Rights organisations  of these blatant publicly executed legal and human rights violations.  However these efforts have not gone beyond statements, seminars  and letters to each other – thus exposing the futility of these large ceremonial structures.

As members of ‘Justice for the Voiceless’, we appeal to the Sindh Government to kindly slow down its  election campaign of hollow promises and begin this task from first providing legal wages, EOBI and Social Security to all sanitation workers working in SSWMB and all municipalities of Sindh.  Pakistan will prosper only when its progress begins from the most downtrodden, exploited and marginalised.