Tamil Nadu: Sanitation Workers’ Development Scheme
The Sanitation Workers’ Development Scheme was launched by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin to ensure the welfare of conservancy workers in the southern state.
What is Sanitation Workers’ Development Scheme?
- The Sanitation Workers’ Development Scheme was launched by the Tamil Nadu government to identify conservancy workers and ensure their welfare through various government initiatives.
- As part of this scheme, a mobile application was launched for the identification and census collection of sanitation workers.
- A survey will be conducted to identify sanitation workers and the collected data will be uploaded into the application.
- The first phase of this scheme will be implemented in five urban local bodies in the state. It will later be expanded to other local bodies.
- Initiatives that will be taken under this scheme are:
- Making various government welfare schemes accessible for sanitation workers
- Providing skill training required for the mechanization of cleanliness drives
- Ensuring that all sanitation workers are covered under pension and insurance schemes
- Ensuring that children of sanitation workers have access to education and other basic amenities
- Providing credit and other facilities required for the sanitation workers to pursue alternative businesses.
- The scheme will benefit over 53,300 sanitation workers in the state, including 18,859 permanent employees and 34,442 temporary contract workers in the urban local bodies.
- It will also cover informal workers involved in conservancy operations in the private sector.
- The local bodies will be implementing this scheme with the assistance from Ahmedabad-based Urban Management Centre.
Why is this scheme necessary?
Sanitation workers continue to face various socio-economic challenges despite the implementation of regulatory measures. The 2003 Supreme Court Judgement mandated the local authorities and other agencies to use modern technology for cleaning and the government enacted Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 to ban manual scavenging. These measures have failed to prevent the deaths of sanitary workers.