A photograph of a boy weeping next to his father’s body moved Indian social media users to raise more than three million rupees ($43,829; £33,350) for his family in a day.
The picture was shared on Twitter more than 7,000 times.
Anil, 27, was a sewer worker in the capital Delhi, who died when the rope lowering him into a sewer snapped, causing him to fall inside.
By some estimates, about 100 sewer workers die in India every year.
Unions have alleged that this is because they are not given proper safety equipment.
Shiv Sunny, a reporter at The Hindustan Times, who tweeted the picture on Monday, told the BBC that he was “shaken” by the sight of the man’s grieving son, who is 11.
Mr Sunny said he took the photograph minutes before Anil, who only used one name, was cremated.
“I just wanted to draw attention to the deaths of sewer workers,” Mr Sunny said. “It [the photo] told the story of the family’s plight.”
He said the family could not even afford the cremation costs and had been helped by neighbours.
They had also told him that Anil’s four-month-old son had died a week earlier from pneumonia, as he did not have the money to buy medicines.
Anil also had two daughters, aged seven and three.