End manual scavenging in six months: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day conference of state ministers of welfare and social justice in New Delhi on 17 June said that manual scavenging will be eliminated from every corner of the country within six months. Sonia Gandhi led National Advisory Council in its letter written to Prime Minister on 9 June had asked for a new law that can help to put an end to manual scavenging. According to NAC the need for a new law emanated from the fact that the present law for Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition Act, 1993 has so far failed to eradicate the inhuman practice even after 18 years of its enactment. It is estimated that around 1.3 million Dalits in India, mostly women, make their living through manual scavenging. Meanwhile, the Madras High Court after taking strong note on the tardy pace in formulating a law to put an end to manual scavenging has asked the Secretary, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, to appear in person in order to explain the reason behind the delay.

MG News Desk


This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 July 2011 on page no. 11

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