Usha Chaumar, Women's Day, Manual scavenger, inspirational story, women, India, Rajasthan,
Once an ill-treated manual scavenger and currently the president of the Sulabh Society, Usha Chaumar is a true

This is the story of a woman who became a true inspiration for one and all after being treated horribly by the society for doing something that actually helped them in maintaining sanitation.

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Not just this, she even hoped that she died after all that she went through while doing the job she did to earn a living. The job was that of a manual scavenger.

Usha Chaumar from Alwar in Rajasthan had spent decades doing a work none of us would ever opt for. She was a manual scavenger who had to clear human excreta in latrines with her bare hands daily.

Doing this work didn't only make her feel filthy about herself; it also ended up making her an outcast – an untouchable – in the society. The work also killed her hunger as she didn't feel like eating anything after returning from work.

Though she was doing a great favour to the society by doing the task, she was not allowed to purchase groceries from shops for herself and her family and prohibited from entering the houses of other people.

"Who wants to do such horrible job of picking up human excreta every morning and disposing it off? That too with your bare hands. It was not just a job, it was our life. We were treated like waste too," Usha said.

Though this horrible practice was banned in 1993 by 'The Employment of Manual Scavenging and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, it is still not history.

The sad truth is there are many more women who go through such horrific experience all throug their lives. Usha just needed an opportunity to get rid of the hell she was living in and her wish was fulfilled when an NGO – Nai Disha – came to her rescue.

Nai Disha brought a much-needed transformation Usha and other women like her face in the society. The NGO focuses in providing them with a much better and respectable life by teaching them various skills, ranging from henna designing, food processing to stitching.

The NGO aided Usha enormously and turned her into an influential public speaker who fought against the awful task of manual scavenging while being a role model inspiring numerous other women! She even got the opportunity to travel the world.

"I have travelled to the USA, Paris, South Africa and many other places. I have learnt to speak English and I am not scared to address even a huge crowd. I want to spread the word about the cause as much as I can so that this practice can be eliminated completely from the society," she said.

Presently, she is holding the prestigious post of president at Sulabh International Social Service Organisation.

Usha wholeheartedly thanks Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, the award-winning social activist and founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement and the NGO, for changing her life completely. She even stated that there was a time when she wanted to live no more, but she couldn't imagine living the amazing life she presently has.

Usha Chaumar shares what all she faced in this video:

YouTube / Shreya Pareek