NHRC recommendations on Manual Scavenging

The National Human Rights Commission recently made recommendations to achieve Zero Manual Scavenging in the country.

Why were the recommendations made?

According to the National Human Rights Commission, several States make tall claims that they have achieved zero manual scavenging and Nil sanitary latrines. However, based on regional workshops held by the National Human Rights Commission the claims are far from the truth. Therefore the commission has recommended certain regulations to be followed while reporting by the concerned authorities.

 What are the recommendations?

  • The rehabilitation process of manual scavengers should be linked to schemes. By this the manual scavengers can immediately start earning. The authorities should revisit to see how their families or doing after rehabilitation.
  • The compensation amount being paid as one-time cash assistance for the rehabilitation of manual scavengers should be enhanced to Rs 1 lakh. Currently, the one-time cash assistance of rehabilitation paid to manual scavengers is 40,000 rupees.
  • The role of middlemen in making provisions such as direct benefit transfer for collaboration with Non-Governmental organisations should be removed.
  • Strict actions should be taken against local authorities for employing manual scavengers. A toll free number and mobile application for registration of complaint should be launched.
  • The National Crime Record Bureau should monitor the sewer deaths and include their death in its report.
  • The Ministry of Finance should designate a particular nationalized bank for each state to extend loans to the manual scavengers up to 10 lakhs of rupees.
  • The National Safai Karmachari Finance and Development Corporation should provide financial assistance to manual scavengers.  This will help them startup working in the domain of sanitation.
  • The Government of India should plan adequately to facilitate investments in shifting towards Technology based sanitary cleaning. Also, the workers should be trained to operate the technology.
  • A Vigilance committee and a monetary mechanism should be established.
  • A police investigation officer with special training has to be deployed.
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