Justice Retd. Majida Rizvi , 7 Oct. 2021
Chairperson, Sindh Human Rights Commission
Room 407, Old KDA Building No.3, Sindh Secretariat, Karachi.
Dear Justice (Retd) Majida Rizvi,
An Appeal for action against Sindh Government for Human Rights violations, cruelty and exploitation of Non-Muslim janitorial staff at Sindh Municipal Corporations / Committees.
As a citizen of Pakistan, I appeal to your Honour to take notice of the appalling conditions and unending deaths of Non-Muslim sanitary workers who are made to enter the dark depths of sewage gutters, and end up with their naked bodies soaked with raw excreta and their lungs choked with poisonous gases. The inhumanity, cruelty and indignity of this happening every day in the 21st century Pakistan would have been objectionable even to the janitors of the 4500 years old Mohenjo-Daro civilization.
1. My complaint refers to Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, where 1700 janitors (mostly Non-Muslims) are paid illegal wage of Rs.14000 pm, which is far below the minimum wage of Rs.25,000 announced by the Sindh Government. They have also been deprived of EOBI and SESSI registration.
2. My second complaint is about Hyderabad Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) where hundreds of Non-Muslim janitors are paid inhuman and cruel wages of Rs.10,000 pm (instead of Rs,25,000). They have also not been registered with EOBI and SESSI. They are made to work in inhuman and hazardous conditions and many of them have lost their lives in the process.
3. My third complaint is about Municipal Committee Nawab Shah where the janitorial staff which is all Non-Muslim, is paid Rs. 10,000. They too are deprived of EOBI and SESSI registration.
4. My fourth complaint is about all Municipal Committees of Sindh, where these illegal and barbaric practice of less than minimum wage, no EOBI or SESSI registration and hazardous work conditions are regularly taking place with full knowledge and approval of all the officials of Sindh Government.
Our numerous complaints to numerous officials from CM Sindh to MD WASA, to end these Human Rights violations have fallen on deaf ears. The following individuals are directly responsible for this gross cruelty, inhumanity, unlawfulness and Human Rights violations:
Chief Minister Sindh
Chief Secretary Sindh
Minister for Local Government Sindh
Secretary Local Government, Sindh
Minister for Labour, Sindh
Secretary Labour Sindh
Director Labour Sindh
Administrator Municipal Corporation Hyderabad
Commissioner Municipal Corporation Hyderabad
Managing Director, WASA
Administrator Municipal Committee Nawab Shah
Your Honour, I appeal to you to kindly not treat this matter as a routine complaint that will exhaust its shelf life on files, papers and archives. The individuals mentioned above need to be held accountable and punished for gross human rights violation, cruelty, slavery and barbarity. They need to be put in jail for a very very long time for their crimes against humanity. But before that they ought to be made to pay the backlog of low wages paid to the janitorial staff of all Municipal Committees of Sindh in the last 2 years – from their personal pockets.
This matter can be considered closed only when it has been ensured :
1. That all sanitary workers are provided safety gear such as gloves, shoes, caps, masks, goggles etc while carrying out routine garbage collection duties. Those performing sewage related tasks must be provided full body safety suit, breathing apparatus, gas testing, rescue personnel, lifting harnesses, Permit to Work and entry and exit arrangements prior to entry in a gutter.
2. That every sanitary worker must receive at least the legal minimum wage of Rs.25,000 pm and be registered with EOBI and SESSI.