Demand Passing Of New Bill To Ban Practice At Protest Rally In Capital

It may be hard to imagine that manual scavenging is still practised in parts of the National Capital Region. But in many parts of NCR and neighboring states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, people manually clean dry toilets everyday while braving dangerous infections, sometimes for a paltry sum of Rs 10 per household.

Manual Scavenger means a person engaged or employed on regular or frequent basis by an individual or a local authority or a public or private agency, for manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of, or otherwise handling in any manner, human excreta in an insanitary latrine or in an open drain or pit into which human excreta from insanitary latrin

The 2011 census stated that Mumbai has 1,137 manual scavengers, the highest in Maharashtra, but BMC’s survey says there are none.

According to the census, Mumbai was followed by Akot Municipal Council in Akola district with 530 manual scavengers. BMC invited responses both through self-declaration and door-to-door survey and completed the exercise last month.

Members of Parliament, civil society organisations and campaigners from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka marched towards the SAARC secretariat in Kathmandu on Tuesday demanding ‘Right to Sanitation for All.’

Calling upon the SAARC countries to ‘Speak in One Voice’ at the 18th SAARC summit to be held in Nepal this year, the entourage submitted a ‘Citizens Charter’ stressing on recognising sanitation as a legal right.

The Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment present this Thirty-second Report of the Committee on “The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012” pertaining to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Thanks to the efforts of NGOs and State Forest Department

The population of vultures, a critically endangered species, is stabilising in the Moyar Valley in The Nilgiris North Forest Division in the State, thanks to the efforts of non-governmental organisations and the State Forest Department. S. Bharatidasan, Director, CareEarth Arulagam, the non-governmental organisation involved in the vulture conservation in the Moyar Valley, told The Hindu that through systematic protection measures the number of the forest scavengers’ nests had increased to 50 in January this year. Similarly, the number of vultures sighted also had also gone up.

A Bill prohibiting manual scavenging can be passed in the Budget Session if Parliament exhibits its resolve to eliminate this “despicable” practice, the Rural Development Minister, Jairam Ramesh sa

New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday assured the Supreme Court that it would strive to bring in a new law to abolish manual scavenging across the country and peg it on right to dignity and life to make it mandatory for the states to implement it.

Repeated adjournments sought by the Union government for getting the Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012, had irked a bench headed by Justice H L Dattu so much that it had observed on last Friday that if the Bill was not getting through the legislative process, the government must bring in an ordinance to put an end to manual scavenging.

Attorney-General assures expeditious passage of Bill

The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed serious concern at the inordinate delay in Parliament passing the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill. A Bench of Justices H.L. Datu and Ranjan Gogoi shared the concern of counsel Santosh Paul and counsel Meera Mathew, appearing for A. Narayanan, and told Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati: “We are very much concerned about this issue.”

A 65-strong group of natives of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh — all of them former manual scavengers — is on a nation-wide tour educating the masses on the need to do away with manual scavenging. The National Maila Mukti Yatra (National Dignity Campaign) plans to travel 10,000 km across 200 districts in 18 States.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Sanjay Dumane of the National Dignity Campaign said despite statutory provisions, scavengers are still employed to remove human excreta from railway tracks and open spaces. According to the 2011 census, there are 7,94,390 dry latrines in the country, where human excreta is cleaned by humans.