Vidushi Marda and I co-authored an India report this year for GISWatch.

we studied the Smart Sanitation project's impact on the society it is being placed in, given and systems of labour undergirding sanitation work in India.

we would love to hear feedback or to chat more on our findings!

@malavika Read the entire report

Had this question asked here on whether the stigma will end even if it was a Dalit women who is responsible for operating the technology. ( had suggested better technology and pay to end the stigma).

@malavika Shouldn't the priority of any smart social project deal with helping the poor or marginalised the most which doesn't seem to be case here.

Any sensor would be expensive. So what is the projected life line of the technology along with cost of maintenance and basic reliability of the technology proposed.

Is there any comparatively study with countries adopting this? Especially ones with higher percentage of poor people?


Was an economic sharing model considered to make the labourers to have a stake in the project so as to safe guard their interest?

What are the capacity of treatment plants? Can they sustain the increase load?Are there a discrimination faced by people who work in those plants?

Rather than having fancy name for projects does renaming positions such as cleanliness inspector give a better outlook and help combat stigmatisation.

@malavika A case if reference could be the how a naming change had a positive effect on forest guards in Kerala.

Again there also doesn't seem to a single body which is working on this.

Neither is there any data on how technology is being used to decide the location? What are the parameters chosen? And why isn't that data being easily available to the public?

And is it SMART if there is the use of technology but doesn't benefit the poor and the labourers ?

@Vishsai @malavika some recent research showed that the caste stigma is elastic to economics. That is some poor people were offered upto 50% more to do jobs associated with work traditionally done by castes lower than theirs and the majority of them refused.

@ashwin_baindur The issue is that a 50 percent increase means it's still 15000.

Let's offer 50,000. Give names like inspector and you will see everyone clamouring for the job.


@Vishsai Salary or designations are beside the point. What they have to actually do i.e. sweeping and cleaning is what they are reluctant to do.
@ashwin_baindur @malavika

@VivekT Haha true. Add
customer feedback to ensure they do the job? And the salary and designation would change the life of a Dalit for sure.
Not that people won't stop insulting but for them to have a better quality of life.

@ashwin_baindur @malavika


To change the image of Dalits we would need to propaganda war.
A Brahmin once told me that they are the true custodian of God as only they were allowed to do Pooja

So I told him that all the Dalits and lower caste all ready reside within the God and the z Brahmins were actually made to do Pooja so they could also reside inside God.

While for us it was enough to just do our work and remember his name the Brahmins were made to do hours of pooja.

@ashwin_baindur @malavika

@VivekT Point of case I'd e the story of Narada who asked Vishnu who was his biggest devotee?

Vishnu showed a farmer.

Narada went and studied him. He just did his job and only chanted God's name thrice. How could he be the biggest devotee where Narada himself was always chanting God's name?

With this question Narada went to Vishnu who replied Narada you do it because it's your Karma while the farmer in spite of all his struggles and Karma never forget to pray to me
@ashwin_baindur @malavika

@Vishsai @VivekT @ashwin_baindur @malavika I don't know about you, but for me, this darned "Karma theory" is the most sinister weapon that Brahminical Patriarchy uses. In one stroke removes the guilt from the privileged and the rage from the oppressed. "You got to do your karma, for better luck next time" - works like clockwork to preserve the status quo of caste

@RaghunathR I use it differently. If you do good Karma can only you been born in the lower caste. See we live in the Kalayuga and only the good people are tested.

The poor Brahmins have to do keep doing their entire life just to reach God.
Their bad karma.

@VivekT @ashwin_baindur @malavika

@Vishsai @VivekT @ashwin_baindur @malavika sure... But I guess I differ there....To me, accepting their myths (used for preserving their world view) as anything other than literature is surrender... So l guess, I don't share their basic premise of "kaliyuga" , rebirth, caste, karma or any such fantastical "theories"... Not anymore at least

@RaghunathR I understand that totally.
I was lucky to meet people who changed my view in things.
These are conversation that I had with people growing up but I would have given up had they not provided me with alternative to see.

But I support your thoughts to end this also.

For me there is no single correct strategy to end this. And I will support any idea which work for ending this because can't say which thought clicks with people.

@malavika @VivekT @ashwin_baindur

@ashwin_baindur Doesn't paint a very good picture does it? Govt. jobs are still preferred because they provide security and to quote from a very popular serial from DD days "office aane ke liye tankhwah aur kam karne ke liye rishwat" @Vishsai @malavika

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