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Chennai: HomoSep, a robotic machine helped manual scavenger's widow to turn into an entrepreneur

Ruth Mary, a manual scavenger’s wife who was devastated after her husband’s death, took a vow to never take up any sweeping, desilting or manual scavenging work ever in her life. She started a petty grocery store in her slum in Ambattur and has been running it. On the eve of Christmas in 2011, manual scavenger 28-year-old M Moses entered a septic tank in Tiruvottiyur to clean it. But he died of suffocation in the septic tank. Mary, now 44, was given HomoSep, a robotic machine, to cut up and homogenise the hardened sludge at the bottom of septic tanks so that it can be mechanically sucked out. She owns the machine and will run a company called Ambatture Safai Karamachari Enterprises (TSKE) which will operate the machine. This is the second such victim who has been given this machine free of cost. On May 1, Nagammma, widow of Kannan who died in 2017 while cleaning a septic tank in Tambaram, was given such a machine. Solinas Integrity, an IIT Madras-incubated startup, developed this machine after interactions with SKA and septic tank cleaners. Prabhu Rajagopal of mechanical engineering department at IIT-Madras and Rema Mohan of NSE Foundation handed over the machine to Ruth Mary.

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