Skip to main content

Of 1.82 lakh manual scavengers, Govt of India "identifies" just 7% beneficiaries, slashes budget allocation by 98%

Budget for self-employing manual scavengers falls drastically
By Our Representative
Much against the Government of India claim that it has provided onetime cash assistance 91% of the total manual scavengers it has identified across the country, 12,742, well-known data analysis site, “Fact Checker”, has said that it has done so “after not counting 93% of them.” In all, the the data, released in the Lok Sabha, show that 11,598 have been given cash assistance.
An analysis by Swagata Yadavar in “Fact Checker” says that the number of manual scavengers identified by the Government of India, 12,742, is “just 7% of the households with at least a single member engaged in manual scavenging, according to Census 2011.”
Out of 35 Indian states, only 13 states identified 12,742 manual scavengers, with the highest number identified was in Uttar Pradesh, 10,317, followed by Karnataka 726, Tamil Nadu 363, Rajasthan 322, Odisha 237, Assam 191, Bihar 137, Uttarakhand 137, West Bengal 104, and on.
There are 22 states where not a single person has self-declared to be a manual scavenger.
Official figures also reveal that, since 2013, skill development training has so far been imparted to 13,827 manual scavengers or their dependents, with just 658 beneficiaries involved in “self-employment projects”.
A government ad on providing cash compensation
to manual scavengers
The budget for self-employment, the analysis further shows, has been slashed from Rs 448 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 470 crore in 2015-16 to just Rs 5 crore in 2017-18, a fall of 98%. During the four years, only Rs 56 crore was spent.
Pointing out that the Government of India data have left out "93% of identified scavengers, who clean sewers and clear human excreta, an act illegal for 24 years now”, the analysis says, there are 1,82,505 households in rural India alone with at least one member doing manual scavenging, according to Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011.”
The site further reveals that there were 7,40,078 households where night soil – human excreta – was removed by human beings, according to Census 2011.
A manual scavenger is a person engaged to manually clean, carry, dispose of, or otherwise handle in any manner human excreta that is not decomposed. The practice, characterized by Mahatma Gandhi as “Shame of the nation”, was prohibited in 1993 by enacting the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993.
The Act made employing a manual scavenger a cognisable offence with imprisonment and fine. The 1993 Act also made it the responsibility of the citizens, organisations and the state to maintain sanitary toilets.
In 2013, Parliament passed the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, making states responsible for identifying and rehabilitating manual scavengers by providing them training, giving assistance, loans and even houses. It further prohibits dry latrines and other forms of insanitary latrines.
Under the Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS) launched in 2007, 18 states and union territories identified 1,18,474 manual scavengers and their dependents for rehabilitation. As many as 78,941 beneficiaries found to be eligible and willing were provided loans.
After the enactment of the 2013 Act, an additional cash assistance of Rs 40,000 was announced to be given to each scavenger identified, and the loan amount was increased up to Rs 15 lakh for sanitation projects.
“Fact Checker” quotes the 2016 Magsaysay award winner, Bezwada Wilson of the Safai Karamchari Andolan, the foremost campaigner fighting against manual scavenging, as saying, “There has been no survey conducted to find the number of manual scavengers in India in the last ten years”, adding, “It is left to the states to identify the numbers and many states have submitted affidavits in court saying there is not a single manual scavenger in their state.”
Wilson claims there are 160,000 dry latrine cleaners in India with 23,000 of them verified by photo, adding, these latrines require human excreta to be cleaned by hand, with manual scavenging being linked to the presence of dry latrines in the country.
“Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, most states are interested in constructing new toilets but not in converting dry latrines into sanitary latrines,” says Wilson, adding, “Madhya Pradesh has municipal corporations that are maintaining dry community latrines… this shows that their intention to abolish manual scavenging is not honest.”

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.