Manual Scavenging - The Hindu - 15/12/22
Recently, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E) told Lok Sabha that no person had died from Manual Scavenging in the last three years (2019 to 2022).
A total of 233 people had died “due to accidents while undertaking hazardous cleaning of sewer and septic tanks' in this time period.
Manual scavenging is defined as “the removal of human excrement from public streets and dry latrines, cleaning septic tanks, gutters and sewers”. India banned the practice under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (PEMSR).
Reasons for the Prevalence of Manual Scavenging:
-Issues due to Outsourcing
-Social Issue: The practice is driven by caste, class and income divides.
Steps taken to tackle the Menace of Manual Scavenging:
-The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (Amendment) Bill, 2020
-The Building and Maintenance of Insanitary Latrines Act of 2013
-Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention Of Atrocities) Act, 1989
-Swachhta Abhiyan App
-National Action Plan for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE)