ERADICATING MANUAL SCAVENGING
Transforming society, enabled by robotics
The latest report from UN Economic and Social Department says 68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050. The number of cities is growing rapidly as people wish to move into city life. Sewage network is the primitive dots of a hygienic and clean city. Unfortunately, Sanitation is one of the major challenge faced by all countries. The WHO report says Inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 2,80,000 diarrhoeal deaths annually and is a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, and trachoma. Poor sanitation also contributes to malnutrition. Manual scavenging is considered the worst profession in the world. In India itself, there are 5 million people are engaged in this shit job and 50% of them are women. The recent study says 1 manual scavenging death happening every 5 days in India. If they don’t die inside the manhole, then they will die before the age of 45 by various fatal diseases. Moreover, these people are not considered in society and it's a caste-wise problem more. The actual truth behind this harsh situation is someone has to do this job due to the lack of proper technology to assist human beings in this work. A lot of such workers die every day due to contaminated diseases of the waste matter or of emission of poisonous gases from them. This is indeed a serious social issue and it needs to be abolished.
GenRobotics aims to eradicate the scourge of manual scavenging from our earth by changing the concept of Manholes to Roboholes, thereby propelling the socio-economic transformation of one of the most marginalised sections of society.
Bandicoot is the world’s first Manhole Cleaning Robot, made in India, by GenRobotics. It goes deep into and cleans manholes, thus negating the risks of human scavenging and the associated societal costs, including health hazards, burden to the public purse, social ostracization, amongst others. GenRobotics also rehabilitates displaced workers by training them to use the robots and become robot operators.
Manually cleaning manholes entails unclogging rather than emptying waste. As a mechanized solution, Bandicoot effectively eliminates related challenges of visibility and flexibility. All operations can be controlled and monitored from outside the manhole, using a simple user interface panel. This eliminates the need for workers to physically enter the manholes, a significant cause of their exposure to health hazards and deaths. The workers' rehabilitation as upskilled robot operators will also improve their livelihoods and dignity of labour. This technology has been tested and successfully implemented in different states of India.
The benefit includes,
- Leveraging technology as a tool for social good to eliminate the exploitative, menial and dangerous job of manual scavenging and improve the lives of millions of people by providing safe and clean cities.
- Delivering social justice by tackling the ostracization and casteism, manifest through manual scavenging.
- Reducing the burden on the public purse in the long term by reducing health costs.
- Reskilling and training displaced workers for improved livelihood opportunities.
- Achieving 6 of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals:No Poverty (Goal 1), Good Health (Goal 3), Clean Water and Sanitation (Goal 6), Good Jobs and Economic Growth (Goal 8), Innovation and Infrastructure (Goal 9), Reduced Inequalities (Goal 10), Sustainable Cities and Communities (Goal 11), Partnerships for the Goals (Goal 17).