The Parliament has passed ‘Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012’.
What is Manual Scavenging?
- Manual Scavenging is the process of disposal of human waste from the unsanitary dry toilets devoid of a connection to the sewer system.
- Though a legislation was passed in India in 1993 banning manual scavenging, however, it failed owing to the lack of awareness and execution.
- It Prohibits: employment of manual scavengers, the manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks without protective equipment, and the construction of insanitary latrines.
- It seeks to rehabilitate manual scavengers and provide for their alternative employment.
- Its illegal to have or build insanitary latrines
- They must be replaced with sanitary ones
- The cost of insanitary latrines demolition and conversion to sanitary one will be borne by the occupier.
- Each local authority, cantonment board and railway authority is tasked with surveying insanitary latrines and constructing sanitary ones within its jurisdiction.
- The District Magistrate and the local authority shall be the implementing authorities.
- Offences under the Bill shall be cognizable and non-bailable attracting up to five years imprisonment.
- Existing laws have not proved adequate in eliminating the twin evils of insanitary latrines and indignity of manual scavenging which goes against the fundamental right to live with dignity .
- To ensure the safety of the workers by reducing the serious health hazard the manual scavenging comprise
- To promote the use of technology for scavenging
- To rehabilitate manual scavengers and their families
- Delhi became the first state in India to ban manual scavenging in February 2013.