The system of appointing a particular person for the cleaning of excrement excreted by a human is absolutely inhuman. And to end this evil practice, many great men, including Mahatma Gandhi, tried from time to time, despite this system remained rooted not only in private but also in government establishments. Now that cleanliness is being discussed vigorously through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan across the country, serious efforts must be made to eradicate this inhuman profession. Then Mahatma Gandhi had fully emphasized in 1917 that the people living in the Sabarmati Ashram would clean their toilets on their own. After this, Maharashtra Harijan Sevak Sangh had opposed the practice of manual scavenging in 1948 and demanded to abolish it. The Brave Committee then suggested in 1949 to improve the working conditions of the scavengers. After independence, another committee set up to investigate the conditions of manual scavenging in 1957 suggested the abolition of manual scavenging.Even after so many years, we come across the country every day to hear the news of death due to human entry into septic tanks and drains. To end such tragic events, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has initiated a technology challenge from non-governmental organizations to seek suitable solutions. To promote the latest technologies in the country instead of human intervention in the cleaning of sewers and septic tanks. Apart from cleaning the septic tanks and drains, manual scavenging has also become a curse for those engaged in this work. Manual scavenging refers to the practice of manually cleaning, carrying, disposing, or handling human emissions from dry toilets and sewers in any manner. Manual scavenging continues to exist in India, despite a ban on it 28 years ago and a technological advance that made it vulnerable to human rights. The socio-economic and caste census released in 2015 stated that there were about 18 million manual scavenging houses in rural areas.Most septic tanks are emptied manually in Indian cities. Statistics show that 80% of India’s sewage cleaners die before the age of 60 due to various infectious diseases. These accidents are more in urban areas and because there are 8000 urban areas of the country and a large part of 6 lakh villages do not have sewage plants. Manual scavenging is strongly associated mainly with the caste system. Lack of support by the society to end this biggest inhuman profession is also a reason behind its persistence. As such, a lack of education and humanity is missing in many parts of India today. An accurate survey is not being done about them because the information on manual scavengers for taking data self-employment is not available due to the social curse. For this, a government initiative is desperately needed. In 1993, the Dry Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act was passed by the Parliament, under which a person was fined up to one year for manual scavenging and a fine of Rs 2,000. Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS), a successor scheme in a time-bound manner (National Scheme for the Emancipation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers and their Dependents), to rehabilitate alternative scavengers and their dependents in alternative occupations in 2007 Was introduced.The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 came into effect from 2013. The act bans employment as manual scavengers. The Act states that the National Safai Karamcharis Commission will oversee the implementation of the Act and investigate complaints about violations of the provisions of the Act. Under the provision, no person, local authority, or agency should engage or employ people for the hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks. The Supreme Court issued several guidelines in 2014 to stop and control the practice and prosecute criminals. Mechanized cleaning of septic tanks is the set criteria.
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