Manual Scavenging in India : Issues & Challenges
All of us see the people doing manual scavenging very often. This situation prevails across the country. Many are doing it for years as their profession. Most of them are from scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and backward classes. They also inherit this to their family members. They are providing a crucial service to our society but they have been neglected in greater sense and many times we see them as untouchable which is prohibited under Article 17 of the Constitution of India. They have also right to live with dignity as guaranteed under our constitution. As per Article 46 of the Indian Constitution, it is the duty of the state to protect the weaker section of the society but it has failed to do so for these manual scavengers and their rehabilitation. Central Government enacted a law on Employment of Manual Scavengers and Constructions of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 and The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis Act, 1993 but they were not properly implemented rather not at all. Looking at this dehumanizing practice of manual scavenging and failure of existing law, Central Government enacted a new law called The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 on September 18, 2013.
Present paper will critically analyze the past, present and future of manual scavenging in India. It will highlight the legal provisions regarding prohibition of manual scavengers and their rehabilitation in India.
Key Words :- Manual Scavenging, Prohibition, India