Poor State Data, Centre to Conduct Own Survey
Chhattisgarh says it has 3 manual scavengers
New Delhi: Freedom from manual scavenging by 2019 was one of the firstpromisesof PMNarendraModi but the Centre after having failed to get the actual number of scavengers from states, is now likely to go for an independent third -party survey.
Officials at the ministry for social justice and empowerment are now mulling over asking the Tata Instituteof SocialSciencesorIndian Council of Social Science Research tocarryoutacomprehensivesurvey across all states to know the number of manual scavengers.
In a recent meeting, officials expressed disappointment over the figures submitted by several States on scavengers and feel only a thirdparty survey can help in setting the record straight. The Centre has written at least thrice to all state governments in the last two years to furbish reliable and accurate numbers of people involved in such tasks.
As per the latest data available with the government, there are 11,635 manual scavengers across the country. Only 12 States have submitted details, of which UP is the only State with a reliable number - 10,016.
“Chhattisgarh has said it has only 3 manual scavengers. The data offered by many states is ridiculous and contrary to what organisations such as NationalSafarKarmachariAndolan are claiming. There have been several deaths of manual scavengers in districts which have no record of their work,” an official said.
The Centre has noted that several state governments have failed to implement the provisions of the Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, and the directions of the Supreme Court for compensation to families of manual scavengers. West Bengal has cited 98 and Punjab 64 manual scavengers.