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941 Workers Died While Cleaning Sewers Or Septic Tanks: Government

According to Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar, a total of 58,098 manual scavengers have been identified across the country

941 Workers Died While Cleaning Sewers Or Septic Tanks: Government
Highlights
  • Tamil Nadu reported the highest number of manual scavenging deaths
  • Cash assistance of Rs. 40,000 given to identified manual scavengers: Centre
  • Over 16,000 scavengers have been given skill development training: Centre

New Delhi: As many as 941 workers died while cleaning sewers or septic tanks while there are no reports of death due to manual scavenging, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday (August 8). Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar said this in a written reply. However, he did not give the time period during which these deaths were reported.

Also Read: ‘Manual Scavenging An Embarrassment For India’: Actor Jaya Bachchan In Rajya Sabha

A total of 58,098 manual scavengers have been identified across the country, he said.

There is no report of death due to manual scavenging. However, we have reports regarding deaths of workers while being engaged in cleaning of sewers or septic tanks, he said.

According to the data shared by the minister, 941 workers died while cleaning sewers or septic tanks. Tamil Nadu reported the highest number of such deaths at 213, followed by 153 in Gujarat, 104 in Uttar Pradesh, 98 in Delhi, 84 in Karnataka and 73 in Haryana, the data showed.

Manual scavenging is banned under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013. Under the Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS), Mr Kumar said, one-time cash assistance of Rs. 40,000 was deposited directly into the bank accounts of all the identified and eligible 58,098 manual scavengers.

Listing the achievements under the SRMS, he said 16,057 manual scavengers and their dependents have been provided skill development training in various trades and 1,387 manual scavengers, sanitation workers and their dependents have been provided capital subsidy for self-employment projects, including sanitation-related projects.

Also Read: Tiny Blockage Between Life And Death: Sanitation Workers In India Face Grim Working Conditions, Reveals A New Report

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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