Now, 5-year jail for using manual scavengers ...

Now, 5-year jail for using manual scavengers

Aug 24, 2012

NEW DELHI: Authorities now face a jail term of five years for hazardous cleaning of septic tanks and sewers.

The Union cabinet on Thursday cleared a new legislation to end manual scavenging, with stiff penalties against the dehumanizing practice. The bill also proposes a rehabilitation package for scavengers. Read more.

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Scavenging must go in 20 days

Jun 23, 2011  -  TOI News

BANGALORE: The government has reacted strongly to the practice of manual scavenging in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), highlighted by The Times of India on Wednesday. Urban development and law minister S Suresh Kumar on Wednesday said it should be wiped out by the time he visits the district soon.

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Government to Take Firm Steps to Ensure Eradication of Manual Scavenging

Jan 26, 2011

Consultation Meeting on Eradication of Manual Scanvenging and Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers Concluded

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has decided to immediately constitute a group to suggest the scope and methodology to be adopted for conducting a fresh survey of Manual Scavengers in the country. This was decided at the conclusion of the two-day Consultation Meeting on Eradication of Manual Scavenging and Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers yesterday. The Meeting was organized by the Ministries of Social Justice & Empowerment, Urban Poverty Alleviation and Urban Development.

The Ministry will also undertake the review of its Self-employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers’ (SRMS) and consider necessary revision to effectively rehabilitate the remaining manual scavengers. This Scheme was launched in January 2007 with the objective of rehabilitating remaining manual scavengers and their dependents, in alternative occupations, within a stipulated time frame. Under SRMS identified beneficiaries are provided loan at subsidized rate of interest for setting up self employment projects costing up to Rs. 5.00 lakh. Capital subsidy is also provided.

An exercise will also be undertaken to devise additional programmes for education and skill development of manual scavengers’ children.

At the two-day meet, extensive discussions were held on the need for the necessary amendments in the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrine (Prohibition) Act, 1993. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation will do the follow up in this matter. Similarly, the Ministry of Urban Development will finalize a Plan of Action of States for provision of total sanitation including conversion of all insanitary latrines and mechanization of cleaning of drainage/sewerage system in all urban areas.

The Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Mukul Wasnik while inaugurating the two-day Meet, had called upon the States to work towards eradicating the shameful practice of manual scavenging by the end of the 11th plan. He regretted that despite various efforts made by the Central Government and the States, the practice of manual scavenging still existed in some parts of the country. Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA) had recently, based on a limited survey conducted by it, had furnished a list of 4,833 persons still engaged in the practice of manual scavenging in 14 States. “We have already requested the concerned State Government to take immediate steps for their rehabilitation in alternative occupations”, Shri Wasnik had told the participants at the above meet.

The National Advisory Council (NAC) had passed a resolution in Oct. 2010 recommending that the implementation of the law relating to the eradication of the manual scavenging should be monitored at the highest level of the Central and State governments. The NAC will also monitor the progress in abolition of manual scavenging on a quarterly basis. The consultation meet was held as a sequel to this resolution.

The two day meet was attended by the Chairpersons and Members of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis and National Commission for Scheduled Castes; concerned Central Ministries like Social Justice & Empowerment, HUPA, Urban Development and 11 State Governments, besides the experts in the field and NGOs like Safai Karamchari Andolan and Sulabh International etc.

(Courtesy: pib press release)

Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers

Nov. 25, 2010

The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 prohibits manual scavenging. As per the Act, no person shall (a) engage in or employ for or permit to be engaged in or employed for any other person for manually carrying human excreta; or (b) construct or maintain a dry latrine. Contravention of these provisions is a criminal offence.

So far, the Act has been adopted by 23 States and all Union Territories. Two States, viz. Manipur and Mizoram have reported that they have no dry latrines, or they are scavenger free. Two States, viz. Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan have their own Acts. State of Jammu & Kashmir is yet to adopt the Act. Sanitation is a State subject. Enforcement of the Act lies with State Governments.

As per the available information, dry latrines exist in three States, namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation is implementing the Integrated Low Cost Sanitation Scheme, which aims at conversion of dry latrines into pour flush latrines.

Self-Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS) was launched in January, 2007 to provide financial support to the manual scavengers and their dependents for their rehabilitation in alternative occupations. The Scheme has the following main components:-

(i) Skill training for a period up to one year, with payment of stipend @ Rs. 1,000 per month.

(ii) Loan at concessional rate of interest for self employment projects costing upto Rs. 5 lakh.

(iii) Capital subsidy @ 50% of the project cost, for projects up to Rs.25,000, and @ 25% for projects above Rs.25,000, with a minimum of Rs.12,500 and maximum of Rs.20,000.

As per reports received from State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, there were 1,18,474 manual scavengers and their dependents for rehabilitation under the Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS), out of which 78,941 beneficiaries found to be eligible and willing for loan, have been provided loan and capital subsidy for enabling them to take up alternative self employment ventures.

This information was given by Shri. D. Napoleon, the Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

(Courtesy: pib press release)

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