Punjab becomes the first province to ban abusive slurs and derogatory terms for sanitation workers. Authorities will take strict action against the violators.
Malik Tahir Awan, vice-chairman of the municipal committee for Attock district, issued the notification on Human Rights Day.
“All citizens, officers, and employees of MC (Municipal Committee) Attock are informed that from now onwards sanitary workers will not be called by the word of chuhra. Legal action will be taken against the violators,” the notification read.
It further instructed the officers that they should treat their subordinates with respect and should also maintain the dignity of citizens at large.
“Officers should not only respect their subordinates but also sensitize them to give importance and respect to the general public,” the notification stated.
Appreciation tweet for VC MC Attock:
On this #IHRD2021 Vice Chairman MC Attock issued a notification banning use of word #Chuhra for #SanitaryWorkers otherwise “legal action will be taken against the violators”.#SayNoToHateSpeech#IAmACleanerNotAChuhra#SweepersAreSuperheroes pic.twitter.com/uxLZckP0VH
— Sweepers Are Superheroes (@sewperheroes) December 11, 2021
To clarify, the notification comes as sanitary workers began a social media campaign demanding respect. Important to note, Christians make up a large part of Pakistan’s sanitary workforce. However, people often subject them to abusive and derogatory slurs. The most common term used is “Chuhra” which means “low-caste.”
Nevertheless, authorities took notice of the sanitary workers’ plight and banned abusive slurs against them altogether. Moreover, Waqas Amjad, the focal person for the minister of local bodies and community development in Punjab, began a Twitter poll to select a “good name” for the sweepers.
ایک مہم چلاتے ہیں جس میں صفائی کرنے والے کو
کوڑے والا یا چوڑے کی جگہ اچھے نام سے لکھا اور پکارا جائے گا۔۔۔
آپ اپنی رائے دیں کیا نام ہونا چاہیے
— Waqas Amjad ( محترم ) (@waqas_amjaad) December 12, 2021
Government to give advanced salaries
While the Christian community in Pakistan faces marginalization, the government often takes measures to assist the minorities.
Earlier, the Federal government announced advanced salaries for all its Christian employees. According to details, the finance ministry said it will afford advance salary payments to all Christians. It will also ensure the provision of pensions to its retired Christian workforce, both by December 20.
Regarding this, the accountant general of Pakistan, military accountant general, chief accounts officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will disburse advance salaries to the Christian community.