Topic#1: Plight of Manual Scavangers in India
Q. Write a note on the legal initiatives taken to prohibit manual scavenging in recent times. 200 words.
In 2013, Parliament enacted a law to prohibit manual scavenging and for the rehabilitation of the existing people in this inhumane work.
Salient Features of the Act:
- D.M. to ensure no person employed in the manual scavenging within his jurisdiction.
- Provide them photo-identity cards, loan subsidy and skill development training to start a new vocation; scholarship for children and housing for the families.
- Make a list of dry latrine and demolish them in time bound manner.
- Local governance bodies need to construct latrines within 3 years
- In case of Violation: 1 year imprisonment + Rs.50,000 fine.
- Central, state monitoring authority and vigilance commission (under D.M.) to monitor implementation of the act.
In 2014, Supreme Court issued following Mandamus to Union and States that:
- Even in emergency, No one should be forced to clean sewers without safety gear.
- Compensation: Rs. 10 lakh to families of persons died in sewerage work- from 1993 onwards.
- Railways should end manual scavenging on the tracks, within timebound framework.
- Provide dignified livelihood to women engaged in this trade.
- Donot create red-tapes, provide these victims their legitimate dues.
- The practice of manual scavenging is a violation of the rights guaranteed under Art.14, 17, 21 and 47
- But still, today ~12 lakh people in this work, 95% of them Dalits.
- Even Railways, PSUs, Army and military engineering works organizations (informally) employ Manual scavengers
|1989||National ST/ST finance and development corporation.|
|1993||National Commission for Safai Karmachari|
|1993||Dry latrine prohibition Act. (Because Dry latrines have to be manually cleaned. So if there are no dry laterines, then there is no need for manual scavengers)|
|1997||Above act finally implemented. (But only in a few states).|
Topic #2: Plight of North Eastern People in India
- 2014, January: Arunanchal Student Nido Tania- asked for address in Delhi, was mocked for his look and hairstyle. Fight breaks out, he is killed.
- Home minister formed a Commission under retired IAS M P Bezbaruah
- To look into concerns of people hailing from north-eastern states living and working in other parts of the country.
- 2014, Aug: Bezbaruah recommends following:
|Social media||Government should setup a dedicated facebook, whatsapp, helpline and email support for reaching out to North Eastern people living in rest of India.|
|Police||Nodal police stations for North Easterners. So the police officer can immediately register FIR instead of asking the victim to go to other stations.|
All these reforms are to be implemented in a phased manner
|Immediate||6 months to 1 year|
|Short term||1 to 1.5 years|
|Long term||1.5 to 3 years|
September 2014: Home minister ordered chief secretaries of all states to implement this report.
Visit Mrunal.org/Polity for entire Archive of Polity articles published so far.