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who are manual scavengers? Why vaccination of manual scavengers must be prioritized? Discuss the ethical concerns surrounding them.  Do you think the government has a moral obligation in doing so?

Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7. who are manual scavengers? Why vaccination of manual scavengers must be prioritized? Discuss the ethical concerns surrounding them.  Do you think the government has a moral obligation in doing so? (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The question is based on moral and ethical concerns associated with manual scavengers and related vaccination priorities.  

Key Demand of the question:

One must present the ethical concerns surrounding the work of manual scavengers and evaluate as to why they should be prioritized first during vaccination.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with the fact that in discussing manual scavenging in India, there are two important components: (1) close proximity to or handling of human feces and (2) the caste or community element, by which people engaging in this task are primarily from Dalit or SC/ST castes. The combination of these two elements moves the issue beyond being merely about labour.

Body:

The answer must first discuss the ethical concerns surrounding manual scavengers and then explain the case of prioritizing their vaccination amidst the current Covid-19 times.

Explain why there is prevalence of manual scavenging in India. Apart from social discrimination, manual scavengers face severe health hazards including exposure to harmful gases, cardiovascular degeneration, musculoskeletal disorders, and hepatitis, leptospirosis and skin problems etc.,

Explain how these are ethically valid concerns. 

Take hints from the article and explain why vaccination of manual scavengers needs to be prioritized.

Explain what should be the role of the government and why it would be a moral obligation.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced opinion as to what should be the solution.