Funds not provided for scholarship to kids of scavengers
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.