Category Archives: media

Press Statement (27-06-2020): Government should take urgent steps to protect pourakarmikas from contracting COVID-19

PRESS STATEMENT

Date: 27-06-2020

To,

The Editor(s)/Reporter(s)

Bengaluru

Subject: Demanding issuance of strict directions to all Urban Local Bodies including Town Panchaaths, Town Municipal Councils, City Municipal Councils and Municipal Corporations to provide all protective and life-saving equipments to pourakarmikas, who are risking their lives while doing sanitation work to prevent spread of COVID-19 to general public; and to take urgent steps to protect them from contracting the virus.

23 pourakarmikas workers under BBMP have tested Corona positive on 27-06-2020” was reported by several news reports.

We had warned against this possibility in our letter dated 15-05-2020 to the Director of Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA). In the same letter, we had described how in Pavagada taluka in Tumukuru district, pourakarmikas were being made to clean areas put under quarantine because of spread of COVID-19, without providing minimal protective equipments.

In its circulars dated 27-03-2020 and 09-05-2020, DMA had informed the officials of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) regarding provision of protective equipments and creating necessary awareness among pourakarmikas. But many officials didn’t take these required steps. Till today, pourakarmikas are not being provided face masks and other protective gears of good and usable quality (the ones which officials and elected representatives use themselves) anywhere. Even now, pourakarmikas involved in loading of waste on lorries, autos and tractors and its disposal, and UGD workers have not been provided protective equipments in adequate numbers.

No awareness is being provided to the workers on how to protect themselves. Only their temperatures are being checked through thermometers every 2-3 days. In the work areas of pourakarmikas, basic facilities like drinking water, toilets, resting rooms etc are not available. The quarterly (3 months) medical checkup that is required to be done for all pourakarmikas is not being done (For example, by ULBs in Tumkuru district).

It appears prima facie that it is because of this willful negligence of the officials that 19 pourakarmikas in Bengaluru have contracted COVID-19. Following steps are urgently required to protect all pourakarmikas across the state:-

  1. Workers above 50 years in age should be given leave with full pay.
  2. The work timings for pourakarmikas should be limited to between 6:00 am to 10:30 am to minimize their exposure to COVID-19.
  3. Comprehensive and quality protective equipment including face masks, head gear, hand gloves, apron, slippers and boots; and necessary protective vaccination should be provided periodically. DMA should provide regular reports on these steps, which should be made available on DMA website in the interest of transparency.
  4. As per the orders issued by the Urban Development Department, pourakarmikas should be provided periodic medical checkup and vaccination.
  5. Basic facilities like toilets, drinking water, resting rooms etc. which are most essential for women pourakarmikas, should be compulsorily made available. If any pourakarmika falls ill at the workplace, medical care should be made available immediately.
  6. Immediate action should be taken on incidents of atrocities and violence against women pourakarmikas at workplace.
  7. In some areas, the morning meal is being supplied through Indira Canteens. This food is not nutritious and is often of bad quality. Also, there is a difference between funds allotted per worker and the per plate rate of the food supplied. Hence, pourakarmikas should be provided good quality morning meal from a different eatery, and not Indira canteens.
  8. It is a general practice for officials and elected representatives to deploy their power and force to make pourakarmikas clean toilets within their private homes. Because of fear of reprisal, pourakarmikas are not able to come forward and voice their opposition. This practice should be stopped immediately.

Dr. K B Obalesh

Member, State Monitoring Committee under the PEMSR Act 2013

Government of Karnataka

Ph: 9742486468

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The Hindu (06/03/2019): Unpaid pourakarmikas turn manual scavengers

The illegal practice of manual scavenging is Bengaluru’s dirty little secret hidden behind the façade of posh apartment complexes, glass buildings and tech parks. The death of a daily wage worker while he was physically cleaning a sewage pit at a school in Begur on March 2 brings this problem back into the limelight.

Barely 70 km away, however, in Tumakuru district, the practice — banned under The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 — is more widespread. Many pourakarmikas who have lost their jobs and those who have not been paid for months are working as manual scavengers to eke out a living. Workers hired by gram panchayats haven’t received their wages for 10 months, while those contracted by urban local bodies have not been paid for two months.

Only urban local bodies in the district have one or two sewer jetting machines. This results in a demand for manual labourers at the rural level. More often than not, labourers are not provided with safety equipment. “I am paid ₹700 if I clean a soak pit, hence I work as a manual scavenger. I don’t have a choice as I have to feed my children,” said Maranna, a pourakarmika of Pavagada taluk.

The minimum wage for pourakarmikas across Karnataka is ₹541 per day. If a pourakarmika takes four days off in a month, they get ₹14,066 (i.e., 541×26 days) at the end of it. In most gram panchayats however, they are paid only ₹3,000 to ₹6,000 a month. There is no uniformity in wages and often, the pourakarmikas are not paid every month, as panchayat officials cite lack of funds. In most urban local bodies, minimum wages are paid. But this has not been the case for the past two months.

Another pourakarmika, Subhadramma, who works in the same taluk, said that most of the sewage pipes in Pavagada are connected to the drainage. “Men clean the drains without any safety gear and place the waste on the side of the road. We women fill metal bowls with night soil and carry it on our heads to load it onto tractors,” she said.

Allegations denied
When contacted, officials denied these allegations. Siddagangaiah, a member of the Madhugiri sub-divisional Manual Scavenging Vigilance Committee said that officers hesitate to show that their area has manual scavengers fearing legal issues. “There is manual scavenging in all the villages of the 10 taluks of Tumakuru district,” said Mr. Siddagangaiah.

K.B. Obalesh, a member of Karnataka State Manual Scavenging Monitoring Committee, pegged the number of manual scavengers in the district at 3,375 which he estimated could be the highest in any district across Karnataka.

Most gram panchayats, citing lack of funds, allegedly do not pay the minimum wages to pourakarmikas per month, as specified by the State government. “Many have also taken up manual scavenging after they lost their jobs in the direct recruitment process,” Mr. Obalesh added.

Stringent action
Jagadish Hiremani, member of the National Commission for Safai Karmacharis, said he had told officers to take stringent action against those who hire pourakarmikas to clean soak pits.

“I have also directed the Deputy Commissioner to pay all their pending salaries, issue payslips and conduct a master health check-up once in three months,” he said.

Link to Original article:

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/unpaid-pourakarmikas-turn-manual-scavengers/article26441518.ece

Press Release (18/09/2018): Sewage Treatment Plants are emerging as the new killing fields of Manual Scavenging

Date: 18.09.2018

Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi-Karnataka, an organisation working towards complete eradication of the caste-based practice of manual scavenging in the State of Karnataka, expresses its outrage at the death of 5 workers – Umesh (22), Raja (22), Pankaj (26), Sarfaraj (19) and Vishal (20) – on account of being made to clean a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at DLF Capital Greens, a residential complex in Moti Nagar, West Delhi on September 9, 2018. These deaths, which are only the latest in a series of deaths of workers in Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), were not accidents and were eminently preventable. Concerted action from Union and State governments is urgently required to prevent further loss of lives in STPs.

As environmental regulations under the The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 across the country have mandated treatment of wastewater by large housing complexes, Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) have proliferated across large cities in the country. While making these regulations, no thought has been given to the question of who is going to clean them. Several of these STPs are ill-designed and do not include adequate measures for operation and maintenance. The STP at DLF Capital Greens in Moti Nagar, for example, was either not designed or not maintained properly, otherwise it would not have had untreated human waste producing poisonous gases which asphyxiated the 5 workers. It did not even have stairs for workers to enter and exit. Many of the agencies contracted to operate and maintain these STPs employ casual workers to clean the tanks in violation of Section 7 of The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013, as was the case at DLF Capital Greens in Moti Nagar. Often these workers are Dalits as were some of the workers who died on September 9 at DLF Capital Greens in Moti Nagar. Because of these reasons, STPs are emerging as the new killing fields of manual scavenging after sewer lines, manholes and septic tanks. In the last two years in Benglauru itself, at least 8 workers have been killed in 4 incidents while cleaning STPs. These deaths are NOT accidents and could have been prevented if appropriate regulatory framework for STPs had been put in place by Union and State governments. Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi-Karnataka demands following urgent steps from Union and State governments:-

  1. The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013 needs to be amended to explicitly prohibit manual cleaning of Sewage Treatment Plants.
  2. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) should come out with guidelines on design, operation and maintenance of STPs and should formulate a regulatory framework for STPs which should include following features:-

a) Unless the STP design adheres to the prescribed minimum design specifications, the State Boards should not grant Consent for Establishment (CFE) to the developers;
b) b) Similarly, unless an empanelled agency with competence in Operating and Maintaining STPs is employed by the Apartments, Consent for Operation (CFO) should not be granted by the State Boards;
c) The competence of these agencies should be vetted by the State Boards before empanelling them.

To bring justice to the families of the 5 workers, Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi-Karnataka demands following actions by the authorities:-

  1. As per media reports, it appears that the FIR in the case has been registered under IPC Sec 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 304A (causing death by negligence); Section 3 (1)(j) of The SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act; and Sections 7,8 and 9 of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013. Additionally, IPC Sections 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) are also clearly attracted and should be added to the FIR.
  2. Under Section 23 of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013, “Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to,the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly”. Hence, not only the supervisor, but the proprietors of the private companies responsible for the maintenance of the STP should also be named as accused in the FIR.
  3. A compensation of 10 Lakhs should be provided to the dependents of all the 5 workers in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court in Safai Karamchari Andolan & Ors. vs. Union of India.
  4. Additionally, a compensation of Rs 4.5 Lakhs under SC/ST Atrocities Act 1989 as amended in 2016 should also be provided to the Dalit victims of this tragedy.

We sincerely hope that Union and State governments will wake up from their slumber now and take all steps including the one suggested above to ensure that no one else will be killed in STPs.

Mr. K B Obalesh
State Convener, Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi Karnataka
Email: obaleshkb@gmail.com
Ph: +91 97425 86468

Ref:

  1. Letter to Sh. Arvind Kejriwal, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi.
  2. Letter to Sh. Thawarchand Gehlot, Hon’ble Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
  3. Letter to Sh. Shri. Manhar Valjibhai Zala, Hon’ble Chairman, National Commission for Safai Karmacharis.

Coverage in Press

  1. Manual scavengers’ deaths: Reason is “poorly designed” sewage treatment plant in Delhi, proliferating in cities“, Counterview, Sept 21, 2018.

New Indian Express (19/09/2018): Only 905 out of 1 lakh sanitation workers in Karnataka given ID cards

BENGALURU: Deaths of six sanitation workers in Delhi last week has pushed the government there to act immediately and curb this age-old practice. Manual scavengers in Bengaluru and the state, however, feel let down by the government here.

Despite the Supreme Court banning manual scavenging in the country, the Karnataka government lives in denial, according to KB Oblesh, state convenor, Safai Karamchari Kavalu Samithi (SKVS).

“In the state, there are around 1 lakh manual scavengers. As manual scavengers, we are entitled to certain benefits, such as wages. However this can be availed only if one is issued a specific identity card,” says Oblesh.

The problem, however, is the fact that such ID cards take ages to be issued. Narasimhaiah, a manual scavenger from Kolar, for example, had applied for the special ID card over a year ago. “I have not got the card yet. I do not know when I will get it,” he says. Oblesh says that of the nearly one lakh manual scavengers in the state, only 905 have been given identity cards so far. “Of this, around 202 are those from Bengaluru itself. You can imagine the situation that the government has put us in. We do not have a choice but to engage in manual scavenging because such benefits are not extended to us,” he adds.

Shakuntala, another member of SKVS, says that besides the ID card issue, there is also the problem of a large number of high school dropouts within the community.  “I can tell you that in each locality in the city, there many cases of children dropping out of school due to the lack of support. This number is increasingly growing,” she adds.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2018/sep/19/only-905-out-of-1-lakh-sanitation-workers-in-karnataka-given-id-cards-1873877.html

 

Memorandum submitted to the National Safaikarmachari Commission (22/02/2018)

 

Date: 22.02.2018

The Chairman,

National Commission for Safai Karmacharis

New Delhi

Sub: Status of Implementation of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013 in Karnataka and the Condition of Contract Safaikarmacharis in the State.

Respected Sir,

In the context of your visit to the State of Karnataka, we, the members of Safai Karmachari Kavulu Samithi-Karnataka, which is a forum of Dalit activists working towards eradication of manual scavenging, would like to bring to your attention the deplorable status of implementation of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (MSR) Act 2013 and the violation of the rights of contract safai karmacharis working for Urban Local Bodies (ULB) in Karnataka.

Status of Implementation of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (MSR) Act 2013 in Karnataka

a) Five years after the enactment of the MSR Act 2013, most of the Urban Local Bodies and Gram Panchayaths in the state are yet to initiate the process of identification of insanitary latrines in their jurisdiction even though section 4 (1) of the Act requires them to complete the process within 2 months of the Act coming into force;

b) While the Socio Economic Caste Census listed 15,375 persons as Manual Scavengers in rural Karnataka alone, the State government has registered only 779 persons (302 in Urban and 477 in Rural areas) as Manual Scavengers. Self-declaration forms submitted to district authorities are not being accepted by them denying those working as manual scavengers rehabilitation under the Act;

c) Even for the 779 persons who have been registered as manual scavengers in the State, the process of rehabilitation has been completely ineffective and has not followed the provisions of the MSR Act 2013 and various Supreme Court Orders on the matter. Most identified manual scavengers are yet to receive One-Time Cash Assistance (OTCA), self-employment training and financial assistance under SRMS scheme;

d) As per our reports, since 2008, in 35 incidents of manual scavenging, 72 people have died but in none of the cases have gone to trial yet. Police officials in the State police are not registering these cases under sections of MSR Act 2013 allowing the guilty officials and persons to get bail in the cases;

Employment of Persons as Manual Scavengers at Religious Festival at Shraavanbelegola, Haasan, Karnataka

e) News reports[1] have indicated that the district administration of Haasan district had allowed organizers of a religious festival at Shraavanbelegola (Haasan, Karnataka) to build insanitary latrines cleaned by manual scavengers in violation of Sec 5 of the MSR Act but so far no official or organizer has been arrested for the offences under the Act demonstrating how the government is guilty of perpetuating this inhuman casteist practice.

Violation of the rights of contract Safai karmacharis employed by ULBs in Karnataka

f) In August 2017, the State government of Karnataka decided to regularize 10,000 contract safai karmacharis employed by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the state after a long struggle waged by the workers for their rights above 90% of whom belong to Scheduled Castes (SC). But the Recruitment rules framed by the government threatens to deprive them of their rights in following ways:-

  1. The maximum age for regular employment has been fixed at 45 years which would deprive workers who have worked as contract employees for last 20-25 years of regular employment and social security benefits.
  2. The proposed recruitment process will follow reservations quotas for SC, ST, OBC and GEN categories even though it is well known that above 90% of the workers belong to SC communities. The insistence of limiting the recruitment of workers to their reservation quota only will be a grave injustice to dalit workers who have struggled for years to get their employment regularized.

In light of the above facts, we appeal to you to raise the above issues with the State government officials during your visit to Karnataka and direct the authorities to take, among other steps, following actions:-

Status of Implementation of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (MSR) Act 2013 in Karnataka

  • Initiate survey for identification of insanitary latrines within the jurisdiction of all local authorities in the state which should be completed in the next two months;
  • Identify and register all manual scavengers working under the jurisdiction of local authorities in the state including those who have already submitted self-declaration forms within 3 month period;
  • Initiate meaningful rehabilitation process of identified manual scavengers as per the provisions of the MSR Act 2013 and the directions of the Supreme Court and complete the process in six months;
  • The process of investigation and filing of chargesheets into all the 35 cases of manual scavenging leading to deaths should be fast tracked and special public prosecutor should be appointed to secure convictions in each of these cases; State government should use its power under Sec 21 of the MSR Act 2013 to confer powers of Judicial Magistrate on the Executive Magistrate to expedite the proceedings.

Employment of Persons as Manual Scavengers at Religious Festival at Shraavanbelegola, Haasan, Karnataka

  • For violation of MSR Act 2013 by the district authorities and organizers of the religious festival at Shravanabelegola, Haasan, Karnataka, cases under Sec 8 and 9 of the Act and 3(1)(j) of SC/ST Atrocities Act 1989 as amended in 2016 should be filed against the culprits;

Violation of the rights of contract Safai karmacharis employed by ULBs in Karnataka

  • The maximum age for regularization of contract safai karmacharis should be extended to 60 years and recruitment should be done on the basis of years of service.
  • All existing contract safai karmacharis should be regularized without any restrictions based on reservation quotas since this is not a fresh recruitment but a regularization of existing workers.
  • Any other actions that the Commission may deem necessary.

 

K B Obalesh

Member, State Monitoring Committee u/ MSR Act 2013

Convener, Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi Karnataka

  1. [1]http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/shravanabelagola-latrines-run-afoul-of-manual-scavenging-law/article22537499.ece

Milestone (02/03/2018): Salaries of safaikarmacharis employed by Gram Panchayats to be paid directly by State Government

Among the safaikarmacharis employed by the government and its various arms in the State of Karnataka, the most exploited are the those employed by Gram Panchayats (GPs) (referred to as jaadmali ಜಾಡಮಾಲಿ ) in the state. The existing financial arrangement between the Gram Panchayaths and the Rural Development and Panchayath Raj Department (RDPR) required the GPs to keep 40% of the total tax collected for paying salaries to the employees of the GP. Thus, the amount available for payment of salaries would depend upon the revenue of the GP. As a result of this arrangement, across several GPs salaries remained pending for months and often the salaries would be much below the minimum wages notified by the government itself.

The jaadmalis were the most affected workers because of this system. In several GPs in Pavagada and Madhugiri talukas of Tumkuru district where Safaikarmachari Kavulu Samithi (SKKS) has been organising jaadmaalis, workers were being paid salaries of as low as Rs 3,500 per month. This is when following the State-level jatha organised by SKKS in 2016, the minimum wages for safaikarmcharis working for GPs was notified as Rs 13,635 for Grade-I GPs. Even these sub-human wages were paid with delay of 4-6 months. In several GPs in Tumkuru, workers had to resort to protest to get their wages for last 7-8 months. For these reasons, at the District level convention of SKKS held in Tumkuru on Feb 02, 2017, we had resolved to work for timely payment of minimum wages to the jaadmali workers employed by the GPs.

Protest for pending wages of Jaadmali in Tumkuru District held in Nov 2014
Protest for pending wages of Jaadmali in Tumkuru District held in Nov 2014

Protest for pending wages of Jaadmali in Tumkuru District held in Nov 2014
Protest for pending wages of Jaadmali in Tumkuru District held in Nov 2014

Protest for pending wages of Jaadmali in Tumkuru District held in Nov 2014
Protest for pending wages of Jaadmali in Tumkuru District held in Nov 2014

As a partial fulfilment of our demands, on March 02, 2018, the RDPR department issued a Government Order (GO) which provides for payment of minimum wages to jaadmali workers directly from state government funds starting March 2018. This would certainly be  a progressive step and from hereon, timely payment of salaries from the government should be ensured. By not paying the minimum wages for the 19 months period between Aug 4, 2016 when the new minimum wages were notified and Feb 2018, the government has violated the fundamental rights of the most marginalised dalit workers. Hence, SKKS demands that

  1. The difference between the actual salaries paid by the GPs and the minimum wage notified on Aug 4, 2016, for the period starting the notification till Feb 2018, should be paid as  arrears to the jaadmalis.
  2. Adequate safety equipment should be provided to the workers; and
  3. ESI and PF should be ensured for the workers.

 

 

Deccan Herald (23/02/2018): Rehabilitation, still a far cry for manual scavengers in state

Raina Paul and Jishnu EN, DH News Service, Bengaluru Feb 24 2018, 15:17 IST

According to the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, a manual scavenger should receive a one-time cash assistance, skill training, a monthly stipend and subsidy to take up an alternative job.

 

According to the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, a manual scavenger should receive a one-time cash assistance, skill training, a monthly stipend and subsidy to take up an alternative job.

Rehabilitation of manual scavengers in the state remains a myth even after four years of the amendment to the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.

Rehabilitation of the 726 manual scavengers identified by the state government, of which as many as 303 were identified in 2013, while the remaining during 2016 and 2017, has not borne any fruit so far.

“Within six months of their identification, all of them are supposed to be rehabilitated. But this has not happened,” said Obalesh, state convener, Safai Karmachari Kavalu Samithi Karnataka.

According to the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, a person who is identified as a manual scavenger should receive a one-time cash assistance, training in a livelihood skill and a monthly stipend and subsidy for taking up an alternative occupation (self-employment projects).

According to the data released by the state government last year, out of the total manual scavengers identified in the state, as many as 436 manual scavengers were given one-time cash assistance of Rs 40,000 each and self-employment projects were sanctioned for 224 of them. However, according to Obalesh who also works for the welfare of manual scavengers across the state, none of them have received an alternative job, so far.

Advocate Clifton D’Rozario, who also works for the welfare of manual scavengers, said that none of the manual scavengers have received a job, although the law provides for it. He said that the community of Dalits, which mainly constitute manual scavengers, is one of the most neglected one in the state.

Source: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/661021/rehabilitation-still-far-cry-manual.html

Deccan Herald (17/02/2018): ‘KSPCB clueless on STP figures’

‘KSPCB clueless on STP figures’

DH News Service, Bengaluru, Feb 17 2018, 0:20 IST

 

Despite claims by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board that the city has 597 privately functioning Sewage Treatment Plants, the agency is clueless about the exact figures.

“The board official told me that there are 896 STPs and 2,413 apartments in the city,” said K B Obalesh, state convener for the monitoring committee for the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act.

In an RTI application, Obalesh had sought information on the number of apartments, and the STPs when three labourers were asphyxiated to death in at the ND Sepal Apartment in HSR Layout on January 7.

The apartment was issued consent for establishment (CFE) during its planning stage. But it failed to take Consent For Operation, a requirement to manage private STPs.

Obalesh also said 90% of the private STPs function in the basement, against the National Green Tribunal rules. “Going by the number of apartments furnished by the board, and considering that each of them have two STPs, the numbers should be not less than 4,000,” he said.

At a recent meeting convened by the Karnataka State Commission for Safai Karmachari with stakeholders like the BBMP, BWSSB, KSPCB and the police, the board could not provide the precise numbers in terms of the existing STPs. The commission gave time till the next meeting on Saturday to come up with the right numbers.

Awareness programmes

KSCSK chairman M R Venkatesh said the commission has directed the pollution board to conduct zone-wise awareness programmes for apartment dwellers on maintaining STPs.

“We’ve lost six labourers to manual scavenging this year, thanks to the negligence of the building owners,” he said.

The pollution board said it issued CFE to 2,944 apartments until 2017, of which only 597 have received CFO till 2016. It issued 3,820 CFEs throughout the state, of which 1,142 apartments were given CFOs.

Sourcehttp://www.deccanherald.com/content/659928/kspcb-clueless-stp-figures.html

Deecan Herald (25/02/2018): Funds not provided for scholarship to kids of scavengers

Funds not provided for scholarship to kids of scavengers

Raina Paul, DH News Service, Bengaluru Feb 25 2018, 0:50 IST

Denied centre sponsored scholarship for four years

The children of manual scavengers have not been provided centrally-sponsored pre-matric scholarship for the past four years, the Karnataka State Commission for Safai Karamcharis (KSCSK) has revealed. PTI file photo

The children of manual scavengers have not been provided centrally-sponsored pre-matric scholarship for the past four years, the Karnataka State Commission for Safai Karamcharis (KSCSK) has revealed. PTI file photo

Data from the KSCSK suggests that children of those cleaning sewage tanks did not get the scholarships between 2012-13 and 2016-17 for their high school education.

“It’s tragic that their families did not have the knowledge that such a scholarship even exists,” said Obalesh, member of KSCSK, who has also been working with manual scavengers for the past 15 years.

Despite the fact that the pre-matric scholarship was started in 2008, no funds had been allocated for it in the state.

The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, guarantees scholarship for children of manual scavengers for higher education.

Another KSCSK member Gokul Narayanaswamy said the commission would give scholarship to children from Class I to XII from this year, besides providing cash assistance of Rs 1,500 per month.

An activist working with the manual scavengers, who did not wish to be named, pointed out that the government does not have a clear number. “If they don’t know how many manual scavengers exist, how could they provide scholarship for their children?” he asked.

Children are asked to get a certificate, stating that one of their parents is involved in manual scavenging, and this is harder.

Sourcehttp://www.deccanherald.com/content/661415/funds-not-provided-scholarship-kids.html