Manual Scavengers to be Included Under Odisha Government Plans
BHUBANESWAR: Over 175 manual scavengers have been identified in 107 towns across Odisha, a latest survey by the State Government, which ended recently, has revealed.
The identified manual scavengers will be provided skill development training or loans at concessional rates with capital or interest subsidy for undertaking alternative employment.
The ST and SC Development Department has directed Panchayati Raj, Women and Child Development, ETET and Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Departments to include the manual scavengers under several welfare schemes launched by the Government.
The ST and SC Department has also written to Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and 10 other municipal councils to facilitate early execution of these schemes by reaching out to beneficiaries listed in the report.
Five types of manual scavengers, who were identified under the survey, include manual cleaning of dry latrines, drains where human excreta is disposed, sewer, human excreta on railway tracks and septic tanks.
While a total of 175 manual scavengers has been identified with one enumerator provided for every 150 households in 107 statutory towns, many eligible manual scavengers could not be listed due to various reasons like death, migration, not interested for availing loan and engagement in other services, sources said.
The beneficiaries would be extended income generating schemes and skill development programmes initiated by Orissa Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Development Finance Co-operative Corporation Ltd (OSFDC).
These schemes would be implemented by involving authorities at block, ULB and district OSFDC levels. The beneficiaries can avail bank loans under viable schemes with 50 per cent subsidy on the project cost, the sources said.
While the State Government claims to have introduced steps for rehabilitation of manual scavengers and their families in alternative occupations, social activists have rejected the scavengers’ enumeration data in the backdrop of the house-listing.
“The procedure adopted by the Department for enlisting manual scavengers is flawed. There is an urgent need for another round of survey by providing wide publicity so that no family or individual engaged in manual scavenging is deprived of rehabilitation and welfare schemes,” a social activist demanded.
Over 175 manual scavengers have been identified in 107 towns across Odisha
Manual scavengers will be provided skill development training, loans at concessional rates for undertaking alternative employment
Beneficiaries would be extended income generating schemes initiated by OSFDC