Every political party swears by their name; AAP has even taken away their means of lively-hood as their symbol. But those who have been cursed as a community to use the Jhadu for centuries, have remained the most exploited community till today. For the first time when the safai-kamdars belonging to the Valmiki Samaj have risen to demand for their rights, the upper class-upper caste ruling clique of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has hit back in the same manner as the upper-caste has always oppressed this schedule caste community. Innumerable arrests, terminations and notices of termination. The Corporation believes the poor workers who are paid even less than minimum wages will not be able to sustain the attack and surrender.
The ruling clique is however wholly wrong this time. When a thousand hands rise together to declare their resolve to fight, with or without jhadu, they do not rise to succumb to threats. 5000 or so safai-workers who have been working over a decade to keep the western parts of Ahmadabad posh and bright live in the most squalor and unhygienic conditions. Being paid less than minimum wages, they hardly get two square meals and have to go from door to door to pick up the dirt from societies to augment their meager income. This is the real picture of Vibrant Gujarat that the whole of India has been promised to be converted to by Modi and his party.
Till now, there have been 51 arrests, detention of around 300, terminations of 48 and notices to scores of workers. The nation must take notice how BJP and their leaders treat the Valmiki samaj. Dalits all over the country must rise to fight the decease called BJP and all other powers that continue to oppress the Dalits. New Socialist Movement is determined to carry forward the struggle of the safai-kamdar whatever be the hurdles ctreated by the authorities. The workers have today filed a complaint under the section (3) of the Atrocities Act against the Municipal Commissioner and the Deputy Municipal Commissioner for compelling them to work by paying them below minimum wages; Supreme Court has held in the PUDR case that taking work from any person by paying them less than minimum wages would amount to forcing a person to work as a bonded labor which is an offence under the Atrocities Act. We are determined to break this bonded labor system that has enchained the Valmikis for centuries.