A disturbing incident has come to light in Karnataka's Kolar district, where students from a local school were compelled to engage in manual scavenging, cleaning toilets and excrement pits. The shocking episode, which transpired a few days ago at Morarji Desai Residential School, gained widespread attention after photos of the incident went viral on Sunday.
Several news sources have reported that five to six students, between seventh and ninth grade, were forced to manually clean the pits.
As reported by India Today, another incident at the same school surfaced, revealing that children were subjected to an overnight hands-up kneel-down punishment, burdened with heavy bags on their backs. The severity of the punishment led to one boy fainting due to exhaustion and dehydration, a moment captured in a video that circulated on social media.
Prompted by the alarming incidents, a committee from the state's social welfare department conducted a visit to the school and is expected to file a formal complaint with the Kolar police. Kolar Superintendent of Police (SP), Narayana M, disclosed that the school lacked a permanent warden, and as a result, a case would be registered against the warden-in-charge, Muniyappa, and two other individuals.
The SP also mentioned that the police would investigate whether the school had outsourced toilet cleaning to a private agency and whether similar practices were taking place in other branches of the school.
The appalling situation has drawn condemnation, with BJP MLA Basanagouda R Patil describing it as "inhumane." He emphasized that such actions not only violated the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, but also constituted a legal offense involving minors. Patil urged immediate legal action against the perpetrators, calling for the government to take stringent measures in response to the incident.