NHRC’s Recommendations on Manual Scavenging Data
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has recently issued a notification recommending action against government officials who incorrectly report the number of manual scavengers in the country.
- The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had recently conducted a regional workshop for discussing the challenges in eradicating manual scavenging. After the workshop, it was felt that the claims of the states for zero manual scavenging and zero insanitary latrines are far from the truth.
- The Commission has now recommended that in case of wrong reporting about the number of manual scavengers by the concerned authorities in any region of the country, accountability must be fixed.
- The commission will also be sending the recommendations that have come out from the workshop to the Union Ministries of Finance, Home Affairs, and Social Justice and Empowerment and to all the States and the Centre.
- The Commission has also recommended expanding the definition of manual scavenging with an aim to include other hazardous cleaning acts as well as to form new laws for hazardous cleaning.
- As per the recommendations of the commission, a penalty should be there to prevent harassment of women manual scavengers and their children.
- As per the commission, rehabilitation schemes of manual scavengers should be linked to programmes like MGNREGA to allow them to earn immediately.
- The one-time cash assistance for the rehabilitation of manual scavengers should be increased to Rs 1 lakh from Rs 40,000. In addition to this, the amount should be paid directly in their bank accounts.
- The National Crime Records Bureau should monitor the cases of deaths during sewer or septic tank cleaning and should also include the data in its annual report.
- NHRC has also recommended that nationalised banks should be designated for States by the Finance Ministry in order to provide loans up to Rs 10 lakh to manual scavengers and their dependents for setting up businesses.
NHRC is a statutory body of India that is responsible for the protection of the human rights of the people in the country. The commission was established in the year 1993.