States slow in abolishing manual scavenging: NHRC
New Delhi: Expressing concern over slow pace
of abolition of manual scavenging and dry latrines, National
Human Rights Commission on Saturday said the statistics projected
in this regard by the public authorities; do not match the
Inaugurating a national workshop here on the issue of
manual scavenging, NHRC Chairperson Justice (retd) K G
Balakrishnan said it is a matter of concern that the states
are very slow in implementing the Employment of Manual
Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act,
"As it is, even the 1993 Act is a half-hearted effort on
abolition of manual scavenging given that there is no
authority made accountable therein who can be held responsible
for continuance of this practice", he said.
Equating manual scavengers with bonded labourers, the
NHRC Chairperson said that they too need to be rehabilitated
in a similar manner.
Describing shortage of water as an excuse in replacing
dry latrines with flush latrines, Balakrishnan regretted that
even the Railways have failed to put in place a foolproof
system to stop this practice despite so much advancement in
The workshop was also attended by Kamla Gurjar,
Chairperson, National Commission for Safai Karamcharis, P L
Punia, Chairperson, National Commission for SC, Bindeswar
Pathak, founder of Sulabh International and representatives
from Ministries of Social Justice and Empowerment and Housing
and Urban Poverty.
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