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In a Fulcrum: Revisiting the Conditions of Manual Scavengers in India

posted Mar 14, 2016, 4:23 AM by Naomi Naghi   [ updated Jul 27, 2016, 1:22 PM ]

Abhinandan Saikia[1] & Nokleny Angla

Journal of Social Research & Policy
Volume: 6, Issue: 1
, Online First
Date: July 2015
ISSN: 2067-2640 (print), 2068-9861 (electronic)

Abstract: The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993, aimed for prohibition of employment of manual scavengers and for the regulation of construction and maintenance of water-seal latrines and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Likewise,Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012’ which defines manual scavenger in a wider framework which include a person engaged or employed for manual cleaning of human excreta in an insanitary latrine or in an open drain or pit, on railway tracks etc. The bill aims at elimination of dry latrines and manual scavenging and the rehabilitation in alternate occupations of those engaged in this task. However, in spite of awareness against such hazardous occupation, its continuance has not ceased to exist. The objective of this paper is to look at the health related issues which manual scavengers have to confront with and a review of the initiatives taken by the State for health and safety measures of manual scavengers. In this study the stigma attached to manual scavenging, and social angle of caste based occupation for continuance of this occupation has also been briefly discussed.

 Keywords: Manual Scavengers; Prohibition; Act; Bill; Health and Safety measures.

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