I AM a young daily-wage sanitation worker. I sweep the streets of Karachi and work at the bottom of the food chain. Above me are at least three tiers of contractors and subcontractors. I am paid an illegal wage of Rs15,000 per month for which I am made to work for 30 days without any weekly day off.
Words like democracy, constitution, law and justice are irrelevant and meaningless jargon for me. The only reality I know is that I, my family and millions like us have been collectively deceived and exploited by the country’s greedy and inept leaders. The only reality I know is that these words are merely tools to keep us enslaved.
Where is democracy, constitution and the rule of law when I am denied even a single day of proper education; when I am paid Rs15,000 against the legal minimum wage of Rs32,000; and when my salary is deducted if I fall sick even for a single day?
Could this happen without a vicious collusion of the government, the labour departments and the human rights organi- sations? Ask yourself and you would know.
Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2023