1,80,657 people still work as manual scavengers, highest are from Maharashtra: SECC
GN Bureau | August 3, 2015
India has 1,80,657 manual scavengers, reveals the socio-economic caste census. Going by the SECC data it is evident that Maharashtra has the highest number of manual scavengers with 63,713 people still engaged in the practice of cleaning human excreta manually.
Following Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh has second highest number of manual scavengers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan of building a modern day toilet for each house may help abolish this age old practice and help rehabilitate manual scavengers. But given the number of dry/open toilets and lack of proper sewage facility, the current picture is somewhat disturbing. (Only Chandigarh, Assam and Goa are the states where there are no manual scavengers, as mentioned in SECC)
What is Manual Scavenging?
It is the practice of manual cleaning of human excreta from service/ dry latrines. The scavengers crawl into the dry latrines and collect the human excreta with their bare hands, carry it as head-load in a container to dispose it off. It also includes manual cleaning of choked gutters and sewage pipelines.
Who are Manual Scavengers?
It is a caste based profession, which is handed down from one generation to the next. This community which is considered ‘lower-caste’ is untouched by technological advancement in sanitary practices. Their basic cleaning tools include broom, buckets and baskets.
According to Sulabh International, they are the most oppressed and suppressed class of Indian society – hated, ostracized, vilified and avoided by all other castes and classes. The appalling hardship, humiliation and exploitation they face, have no parallel in human history. The practice started in the Pauranic period continued in the Buddhist, Mauryan, Mughal and British periods.The practice started in the Pauranic period continued in the Buddhist, Mauryan, Mughal and British periods.
In 1993, India banned the employment of people as manual scavengers. In 2013, landmark new legislation in the form of the Manual Scavengers Act was passed which seeks to reinforce this ban by prohibiting manual scavenging in all forms and ensures the rehabilitation of manual scavengers to be identified through a mandatory survey.
Despite the ban and technological advancement, manual scavenging is still prevalent in the country. According to the 2011 census, there are more than 2.6 million dry latrines in the country. There are 13,14,652 toilets where human excreta is flushed in open drains, 7,94,390 dry latrines where the human excreta is cleaned manually. About 73 percent of these are in rural areas and 27 percent are in urban areas.
Almost a week ago, Finance Bill, 2017, was passed in the Lok Sabha as a money bill in the midst of a walk out by the opposition. In the 92-page document of the bill, centre has pushed 40 amendments to various acts including the IT Act. Eminent people like Fali Nariman, Girish Karnad, TM Krishna, Arun
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a Maharatna PSU, has successfully commissioned 250 MW unit based on eco-friendly circulating fluidized bed combustion (CFBC) technology, using low grade coal (lignite) as the primary fuel. The 250 MW lignite
The Law Commission which had examined the issues of right to rejection and the right to recall, has not recommended for the same, the Lok Sabha was informed. Union minister PP Chaudhary said that the Law Commission of India was requested in January, 2013,
HCL founder Shiv Nadar tops the Hurun India Philanthropy list with Rs 630 crores donation towards education sector. Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan and his wife Sudha Gopalakrishnan came in second with a donation of Rs 313 crores primarily towards healthcare, social development and education.
Keel of the first Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (CGOPV) of the new 5 CGOPVs project for the Indian Coast Guard was laid at Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) recently by ADG K Natarajan, PTM, TM Coast Guard Commander (Western Seaboard), in the presence of RAdm (Retd) Shekhar Mital, NM Chairman and Managing Dire
A pilot project of Digital Village (DigiGaon) is to be implemented in 1050 Gram Panchayats (GPs) spread across 30 States/UTs, the Lok Sabha was informed. Union minister PP Chaudhary said that the approved outlay for implementation of the project for finan