My fight against Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) can help all Safai Karamcharis: Sunil Yadav

Text and video by Shiva Thorat

A lot of us are taught as children that if you want to study, there are no barriers that can stop you. Sunil Yadav would politely disagree to this.

Yadav, a PhD Scholar in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai also works as a Safai Karmachari in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Mumbai. For the past four years, he has been trying to get a study leave grant and has filed a petition in High Court, Mumbai for the same. His struggle for study leave began in 2012 when he got admission for his MA in Globalisation and labour. He described that “if this course had not taught me about the way the trade union members works, I would not have been able to fight back against the oppressive Brahmanical system.”

He reminds us that his aspiration for education is not an act of selfishness; rather this is a shared struggle for all. “If I am granted actual official study leave, every Safai Karmachari or a manual scavenger who wants to study will have to be granted study leave. It will help to implement the policy more strongly,” he says.