'Stop manual scavenging'

Speakers at a recent consultation on the 2013 Act prohibiting employment of manual scavengers, stressed the need to revisit the definition to widen its scope.

Published: 21st October 2013 08:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st October 2013 08:15 AM   |  A+A-

Action-Aid

Speakers at a one-day State level consultation on ‘The Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013: Scope and challenges,’ observed that although the Act intended to prohibit employment of manual scavengers, the definition had to be revisited to enlarge the scope of inclusion of those continuing the practice in varied forms. 

Organised by ActionAid in the city recently, the State level consultation saw the participation of  eminent social activists, sanitation experts, writers, advocates and others working for eradication of manual scavenging, who critically reviewed the law. 

The prime objective of the consultation was to discuss the new law and provide inputs in framing model rules for effective implementation of the law and to enhance the participation of various stakeholders in the struggle for total eradication of the manual scavenging practice.

Besides, the meet also sought to promote comprehensive rehabilitation, including total liberation, dignity, health, education, livelihood, sanitation and discrimination related issues. 

According to the delegates, the Act lacked political will to prohibit the practice of manual scavenging and will only increase the practice with protective gears, under the given provisions.

Hence it was decided to constitute a team of experts in various fields like human rights activists, lawyers and progressive writers to come out with a draft rule to further advocate with the state for the empowerment of women. The participants included those from ActionAid, Tamilnadu Conservancy Workers Forum, TAAMS – Tamilnadu Adhi Andhra Arunthathiar Maha Sabha, Vanmugil, Aruntamilar Liberation Front, INCUBE, IRDS, HRF, INDIA-NGO, Sanitary workers union, MIDS/FAMS, SKA– Safai Karmachari Andolan, Pasumai Trust, DLRF, PCDS Pondy, IJM and Asian College of Journalism, besides writer Manushyaputhiran and Tamil Maiyam founder Fr Jegath Gasper Raj.

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