Kela Devi was involved in manual scavenging for 30 to 40 years. She was married off in the year 1965 to Mr. Sukkad who belonged to Maaruthpur village. There she had to work as a manual scavenger for their livelihood as her husband was unemployed. Later the couple shifted to Landhaura, a town in Uttrakhand. Even in this town she was compelled to engage in manual scavenging. Later, with the support of SKA team she received one time cash assistance from government under SRMS Scheme. Now-a-days she is running a grocery shop.
“My name is Kela Devi. My husband and I reside at Valmiki basti, Landaura. I used to do work as manual scavengers in 50 to 60 houses and got 30 to 40 rupees from each house. I had five sons and two daughters to take care of. Apart from it, I got 10 Kg of wheat every six months.
Few years back, Amar Singh, Poonam and Ravita Kherwal from Safai Karmachari Andolan came to our colony. They talked to us about manual scavenging, the law against this job, government schemes and about Safai Karmachari Andolan. They told us about the success stories of other women who had given up such work.
I got inspired and decided to leave manual scavenging. Meanwhile, SKA team had registered my name during the statutory town survey in 2013. In the year 2015, I got Rs. 40,000 one time cash assistance. I used this money to set up a grocery shop with the help of my husband.
I’m grateful to Safai Karmachari Andolan and the team. Now I’m happy and living with dignity.”