NEW DELHI: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh governments taking into account the reported plight of manual scavengers across the nation on Friday.
The notices were sent after the NHRC took suo-moto cognisance of a recent media report capping the figures of identified scavengers to be 12,737 spread across 13 states and Union Territories till January, this year. NHRC has asked for a detailed report within six weeks in the matter along with an action plan for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims.
The report further stated that around 30 women manual scavengers in the Radhna Inayatpur village of Mawana in Meerut district, are paid a menial sum between ten and fifty rupees every month, per household to clean dry latrines with leftover stale food sometimes given as bonus.
The Commission has observed that in a civilized society that has passed instrumental legislations in the past to annihilate such deprivations, the women of a vulnerable Dalit community are not able to liberate themselves from the scourge of carrying human excreta on their heads.
Reportedly, the NDA government’s pet project Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has rather been a pipedream for the scavengers with nil budgetary allocation for construction of sewer lines to deal with the excreta. The National Commission for Scheduled Caste’s findings reflect that the expenditure on the loans for the rehabilitation of manual scavengers in the last three years has been negligible. With little done for identification and easy extension of credit facilities to scavengers, the community’s woes have increased manifold in the recent past.