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Day 18 – Q 2. Elaborate upon the measures adopted for the betterment of manual scavengers.

2. Elaborate upon the measures adopted for the betterment of manual scavengers.

मैनुअल स्वेवेंजर्स की स्थिति सुधारने के लिए अपनाए गए उपायों पर विस्तृत चर्चा करें।


The obnoxious and inhuman occupation of manually removing human excreta and filth using their hand is called ‘manual scavenging’, Manual scavengers are mostly SC/ST people who are employed or forced to clean the dry latrines, gutters and man-holes.
According to the 2011 Socio-Economic and Caste Census, 1.82 lakh rural households in India were dependent on manual scavenging for their income. Recent survey by Niti Ayog showed a huge increase in manual scavengers although it was banned in 1993.

Measure adopted by government to end this  are:-

1)Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation 2013 has helped by rehabilitating thousands of scavengers. The District Magistrate and the local authority are the implementing authorities.  Offences under this act are cognizable and non-bail able, and may be tried summarily.

2)The insanitary dry latrines are being destroyed and new sanitary latrines being constructed under Swachh Bharat Mission-rural and urban. The success of Swachh Bharat Mission will show its results in latest surveys in coming years.

3) The jobs offered under MGNREGA and skills taught in Skill India will further bring people out of this profession.

4) The fundamental rights article 23 ,14 and15 provide safety from bonded labour and discrimination. Clearly, it has helped in bringing equality.

5) The protective gear provided for cleaning manholes will provide protection. Otherwise many times the poisonous gases take lives of these poor people.

6)A 2014 report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) titled “Cleaning Human Waste released” revealed that manual scavenging is plagued by patriarchy as women are forced to do this and paid little. The STEP (support to training and employment program for women) scheme which provide skill to asset less women in traditional sectors like handloom etc can fill the gaps.

7)The Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS) provide cheap credit and skill training since 2007.

8) Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan ,NGO led awareness campaigns have helped significantly to get dignity of manual scavengers back and get them better jobs.

9) National mission for Safai karamchari would monitor the act

10) Technological solutions like Bandikoot the robot to clean manhole, sulabh cleaning sewer machine – to clean sewer without human.

Inspite of these, some events happened recently

  • Death of 3 workers while cleaning tank in New Delhi.
  • Last year, 30 people died in Tamil Nadu due to manual scavenging


  • Caste factor – untouchability
  • Human excreta flows without sewerage
  • Law exists only on paper
  • Central fund allocation is low
  • Sanitation being state subject requires state support


Multipronged effort providing formal literacy, technological and skill development to these people who are illiterate will help them become part of mainstream  contribute in progress of nation. Everyone has right to live with dignity. The problem of manual scavenging in the society persists with ancient time. These government effort will not only help in giving them right to dignity but also fulfilling development goal 3.

Best answer – Neha Kumari

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