Manual Scavenging Deaths: Compensation Of Rs 10 Lakh Given To 100 Families Each

| October 5 , 2018 , 10:49 IST

The societal evil of manual scavenging has continued on into the 21st century, and in the past 1.5 years, nearly 600 cases involving deaths of manual scavengers have been reported, National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) chairman Manhar Valjibhai Zala said on Thursday.

The NCSK has ensured payment of mandatory compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to 100 families whose members died due to manual scavenging.

"We managed payment of compensation of Rs 10 lakh to 100 affected families. The commission will intervene and ensure payment of compensation to the families in more such cases," said NCSK chairman Manhar Valjibhai Zala.

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According to a report based on a survey conducted between March and July this year by Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, a coalition of civil society organisations, from the 51 incidents involving deaths of 97 people due to manual scavanging, not a single family member was rehabilitated into another job, forcing them to continue in the same line of work of manual scavenging.

Interviews conducted with family members and survivors in the 51 cases across 11 states also showed that compensation had been paid to the affected families in only 16 cases, PTI said.  

The report showed that most of the incidents of deaths amongst manual scavengers took place during cleaning of septic tanks and sewers, but no FIRs were registered and not a single case was prosecuted.

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Between 1992 and 2018, the report said "a total of 140 incidents across 27 states with 205 deaths" had taken place. State-wise, Gujarat reported 62 deaths, followed by Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, 29 deaths each, and Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, 24 deaths each.

"The number of deaths reported by us are lower than that reported by NCSK, because we were not able to cover more states due to logistical reasons," said the convener of Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan.

Manhar Valjibhai Zala who joined as the chairman of NCSK in March last year said, "Within four months of my joining as chairman of NCSK, in Delhi alone 20 deaths were reported. We have ensured payment of compensation in all the cases."