NEW DELHI: Reintroduction of The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, manual scavenging and welfare of senior citizens are part of the 100-day agenda of the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry.
This ministry had introduced the Bill in the Lok Sabha in August 2016. The Bill lapsed after the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha, will be introduced again, being a priority area for the ministry’s100-day action plan.
The plan has mapped out the points of disagreement that arose from the Bill. These include identity determination, criminalisation of begging — which is likely to take away the livelihood options of people — and reservation under the OBC category.
On the criminalisation of begging, the ministry is of the view that under Bill’s provisions, someone who compels or entices a transgender person to beg should be punished with a jail term.
The action plan for 100 days includes effective implementation of Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, by immediately releasing one-time cash assistance to manual scavengers identified by the ministry. Till March this year, over 49,000 manual scavengers had been identified.
There are suggestions on issuing advisories to state governments and local bodies to ensure payment of compensation to the families of persons who died while cleaning septic tanks and organising health camps in districts where a majority of manual scavengers have been identified.
‘Scholarship amounts should be raised’
The scholarship amount for students under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment schemes should be enhanced and disbursed more regularly, said Ramdas Athawale, MoS, Social Justice, who took charge Monday. He said financial grants for both pre-matric and post-matric should be increased.
Munda assumes charge, holds review meetings
Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda who assumed office on Monday, held a review meeting to take stock of the schemes running under the ministry. He met a team from the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
“We are also planning for our 100-day action plan for which the meeting will be held tomorrow,” said Munda.