Over 35 per cent manual scavengers still await government’s help

These figures include those identified in a survey conducted in 2013 and one that is currently ongoing.

Published: 08th March 2019 07:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2019 07:52 AM   |  A+A-

Manual scavenging

For representational purposes (File | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Of the over 45,000 people identified by states as manual scavengers by the government, over 37 per cent have still not received the one-time cash assistance they are entitled to under the government’s rehabilitation scheme, which it kicked on in June 2018.

These figures include those identified in a survey conducted in 2013 and one that is currently ongoing. In 2013, 13,770 manual scavengers were identified by states. Under the Centre’s rehabilitation plan, manual scavengers are to be given cash assistance of Rs 40,000 in order for them to be able to give up the unsanitary, dangerous and antiquated practice.  

“So far, over 30,000 people have been identified by the states in the 2018 survey. Of these, the cash assistance has been handed out in around 16,000 cases. The total number of scavengers who were given assistance in 2013 and the ongoing survey combined would be around 28,000,” said a Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment official.

In the ongoing survey, till October, over 20,000 people were identified, according to figures available with the National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation, the agency which is conducting the survey. Of these, 8,000 have received the assistance.

Manhar Valjibhai Zala, National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) chairperson, said the commission has held review meetings with the state governments of Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Haryana, Karnataka, West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Goa, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Meghalaya to assess the ground realities of this practice.    

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