In October Slate published an exclusive excerpts from Rose George’s book The Big Neccessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters and I just ordered the book.
It drips on her head most days, says Champaben, but in the monsoon season it’s worse. In rain, worms multiply. Every day, nonetheless, she gets up and walks to her owners’ house, and there she picks up their excrement with her bare hands or a piece of tin, scrapes it into a basket, puts the basket on her head or shoulders and carries it to the nearest waste dump. She has no mask, no gloves, and no protection. She is paid a pittance, if she is paid at all. She regularly gets dysentery, giardiasis, brain fever. She does this because a 3,000-year-old social hierarchy says she has to.