Manual Scavenging – Govt. to work in a timebound manner

Despite the practice of manual scavenging and construction of dry latrines being prohibited since 1993*  the practice still continues in several states. As common till date no one has been punished under the Act. As with many laudable legislations implementation has fallen between the intentions and the implementation machinery. The Act though adopted by almost 20 states/UTs, except for UP no state has registered a case till date. The only exception being the state of UP where almost 20,000 cases have been registered, however even here not a single prosecution has been initiated.

While central govt. has been spending good amount on rehabilitation package, as per a release Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment states that numbers of manual scavengers has come down from 7.7 lakh in 1992 to 1.18 lakhs in 2011.

However the figures are doubtful and National Advisory Council in a recent meeting passed a resolution that the Govt. works with vigour to end this practice. The Ministry has now decided to conduct a fresh survey to ascertain the exact numbers.

* Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act 1993

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