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58,098 eligible manual scavengers identified in India; each got Rs 40,000 assistance: Minister Ramdas Athawale

The 58,098 eligible manual scavengers were identified during two surveys conducted in 2013 and 2018, the minister mentioned in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 3 Feb 2022, 3:36 am

Ramdas Athawale (PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons)
Ramdas Athawale (PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons)

 

A total of 58,098 eligible manual scavengers have been identified in the country and paid one-time cash assistance of Rs 40,000 each, said Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale on Wednesday.

The 58,098 eligible manual scavengers were identified during two surveys conducted in 2013 and 2018, the minister mentioned in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

The two surveys are a part of the several major legislative and programmatic interventions undertaken by the government to achieve the objectives of “Elimination of insanitary latrines and manual scavenging as well as rehabilitation of manual scavengers in alternative occupations,” the minister pointed out.

The interventions undertaken by the Social Justice and Empowerment as mentioned by Athawale included the following:

1. The “Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013” was enacted. It came into effect from December 6, 2013 in all states and Union territories.

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2. Taking cognizance of the inhuman practice of manual scavenging, more than 10.88 crore sanitary toilets have been constructed in rural areas and 62.64 lakh in urban areas and insanitary toilets have been converted into sanitary toilets under the Swachh Bharat Mission, since October 2, 2014.

3. After the enactment of the “Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013”, the Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS) was revised in November 2013, in consonance with the provisions of the Act as follows:

-Provision of One Time Cash Assistance of Rs 40,000 to one identified manual scavenger in the family.

-Back-end Capital subsidy up to Rs. 3.25 lakh to identified manual scavengers and their dependants for self employment projects up to Rs 10.00 lakh (Rs. 15.00 lakh in case of sanitation related projects).

-Skill Development Training up to two years to identified manual scavengers and their dependants with stipend @ Rs 3,000 per month during the training period.

4.  Two surveys were conducted during the year 2013 and 2018 for the identification of Manual Scavengers. As per these two surveys, 58,098 eligible manual scavengers have been identified and paid the one-time cash assistance of Rs 40,000.

5. To make the scheme more effective, SRMS has been further revised with effect from April 1, 2021. The major modifications made under SRMS are:-

a. The maximum amount of capital subsidy per beneficiary has been revised from Rs 3.25 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

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b. Payment of capital subsidy has been made upfront in place of backend subsidy earlier.

c. For Sanitation Related Projects, in addition to the identified manual scavengers and their dependants, the sanitation workers and their dependants are also made eligible for same amount of capital subsidy and interest subsidy.

d. For group projects, the project cost has been increased to Rs 50 lakh per group up to five members. Each member of the group can have maximum project share of Rs 10.00 lakh.

e. Taking cognizance of health issues of manual scavengers and to enhance their health conditions the government has extended health insurance benefits of up to Rs 5 lakh to all the identified manual scavengers under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana.

6 After receiving reports from the social institutions working in this field about existence of insanitary latrines, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launched a mobile app “Swachhata Abhiyaan” on December 24, 2020 to capture the data of insanitary latrines still existing and manual scavengers if any associated with them.

Any person can upload the data of insanitary latrines and manual scavengers on the mobile app. Thereafter, the data is verified by the concerned district administration. So far, over 6,000 cases have been uploaded on the App. However, not a single insanitary latrine has been confirmed so far, the minister stated.

 

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First published:2 Feb 2022, 12:24 pm

Tags:

social justiceRamdas Athawalemanual scavengers

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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