Manual Scavengers | The hands that clean you
A cause close to Mahatma Gandhi's heart, this community is yet to be identified and uplifted
It is Valmiki Jayanti and schools across north India are shut. Yet Shyamwati, who belongs to the Balmiki community (a Dalit caste believed to be the descendants of sage Valmiki, who wrote the Ramayan), does not have the day off. She criss-crosses the cemented by-lanes in her village, Farrukhnagar in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, at a brisk pace with a round cane basket and a broom on her hip.