“Compelled by the exigencies of poor economic life and caste identity, Amitabh, a young law graduate, becomes a manual scavenger. One day, to earn some extra money to support his family, he decides to get inside a large unsafe sewer to clear a blockage. He neither has protective gear, nor the accompanying engineer to check for poisonous gases. Will Amitabh come out safely?”

Manhole - Short Film

This short film was adjudged as one of the runners up in the Unreal Shorts India Program 2021. The production of the film was supported by Epic Games. With this project we have completed the first phase of our initiative.

Manhole - VR Film*

What does it take to get inside a manhole without protective gear? How would it feel to submerge oneself inside a sewer blocked with human excreta? To explore these questions experientially, witness the journey of Amitabh in ‘Manhole VR’.

*The team is currently seeking funding for the VR Film, which is the second phase of this initiative.


“In 2013, the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act criminalized the practice and employability of any form of manual cleaning, carrying, disposing or handling of human waste. Yet, about 62,904 men and women are engaged in some form of manual scavenging.”

Manual Scavenging is the occupation of sanitation work in India, involving manually cleaning and disposing of human excreta from latrines, septic tanks, gutters, sewers or manholes. Manual Scavengers are mostly from marginalized caste, who enter hazardous manholes with little to no safety equipment or protective gear. As a result they often face injuries, and in worst cases, death. For instance, in 2019, the number of deaths due to manual scavenging in India is 110.


A screenshot from 'Manhole' short film.


This project is a collaboration between award-winning animators, VR filmmakers, and experienced developers and artists.

Supported by

The short film was supported by Epic Games.


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