The Jal Sahiyas of Garwha are agitating for their rights – these are the workers who do the bulk of the rural drinking water and sanitation work and are yet not recognized as Government employees. A rally was held in Garhwa under the joint banners of the Garhwa District Jal Sahiya Samiti and AIPWA, culminating in a meeting in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Addressing the meeting, Com. Sushma Mehta said that the Jal Sahiyas have been working for the past 7-8 years but they have not been paid any wages, honorarium or allowance. They have also not been given any special dress to identify them as Jal Sahiyas. Hundreds of Jal Sahiyas were present on the occasion. A 9-point memorandum with the following demands was submitted to the Deputy Commissioner: Jal sahiyas to be declared government employees; they should be provided with uniforms; payments for water inspection and toilet survey should be made; extortion of money in the name of ‘audit’ should be stopped; wage fixation of Jal Sahiyas should be done; NGOs should be banned from toilet construction; and Jal Sahiyas should be given travel allowance and mobile allowance.