From Despair to Hope: Teenagers Battling Manual Scavenging

Publication Information

Journal Title: Indian Politics & Law Review
Author(s): Vanshika Shukla
Published On: 23/04/2024
Volume: 9
First Page: 38
Last Page: 52
ISSN: 2581-7086
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

DOI: 10.55662/IPLR.2024.902

Cite this Article

Vanshika Shukla, From Despair to Hope: Teenagers Battling Manual Scavenging, Volume 9, Indian Politics & Law Review, 38-52, Published on 23/04/2024, 10.55662/IPLR.2024.902 Available at


The study explores the transformative journey of teenagers who, against all odds, have emerged as resilient champions in the battle against manual scavenging- a dehumanizing and hazardous practice that persists in various parts of the world. Manual scavenging involves the manual cleaning of sewers, septic tanks, and open drains, subjecting individuals to unimaginable health risks and societal marginalization. Despite the inherent challenges, this research sheds light on the inspiring stories of teenagers who have risen from the depths of despair to become beacons of hope in their communities. Through in-depth interviews, participant observations, and case studies, the study delves into the lived experiences of these young individuals, examining the socio-economic factors that push them into manual scavenging, the physical and mental toll it takes on their well-being, and the strategies they employ to break free from this vicious cycle. The study also explores the role of education, community support, and advocacy in empowering these teenagers to challenge and dismantle the systemic structures that perpetuate manual scavenging. Furthermore, the study highlights successful interventions and initiatives that have played a pivotal role in equipping these teenagers with the skills and resources necessary to forge a path towards dignified livelihoods.

Keywords: Youth Empowerment, Manual Scavenging, Social Activism, Education for Change, Transformational Stories.

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