Rehabilitation of Identified Manual Scavengers

After identification of the persons engaged in manual scavenging are to be rehabilitated as per the Section 13(1) provisions of  The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013, which provide for the following:-

  1. One-time cash assistance;
  2. Educational Scholarship to the children of the person identified as MS;
  3. Housing site;
  4. Training for alternative occupation along with a monthly stipend of Rs 3000/- per month;
  5. Concessional Loan for taking up alternate employment.

To implement provisions (1), (4) and (5) above, the Self Employment Scheme for the Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS) was revised in Nov 2013 to provide for:-

  1. One-time cash assistance of Rs 40,000/-
  2. Skill Development training with Stipend of Rs 3000/- per month for the training period upto two years for the identified manual scavenger/dependent family member.;
  3. Loans upto Rs. 15 lakh for income generating activities with capital subsidy upto Rs 3,25,000/- are provided to the identified MS/dependent family member at concessional rate of interest of 5% per annum (4% for women) for projects upto Rs 25,000/- and at the rate of 6% per annum for projects above Rs 25,000/-/

The SRMS is being implemented through National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC). The data provided by the NSKFDC through RTI application, shows the progress made in rehabilitation of identified manual scavengers across the country.

Table 1: Progress Report of Implementation of the Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers as on 31st Oct 2017 (Rs in Lakhs)

S. No.Name of State/UTNo of Manual Scavengers whose details uploadedOne time Cash Assistance (OTCA)Capital Subsidy Released to SCA (no. of beneficiaries)Skill Development Training
Not to be provided OTCA as per norm of one MS per family/other reasonsNo. of MS provided OTCAYet to be paid (3-4-5)No. of beneficiaries undergoing trainingNo. of beneficiaries completed training
1Andhra Pradesh78195630
6Madhya Pradesh*360360018
11Uttar Pradesh10980951060727832722692467
13West Bengal10499509797

For Karnataka, as the Table suggests, out of he 726 registered MS, so far only 450 persons have been provided OTCA and only a small number of these have been provided training or concessional loan assistance which shows the laggard implementation of the SRMS scheme in Karnataka. The idea of providing OTCA is to allow working as MS to quit the practice immediately without a financial set-back. The training should immediately commence during which period a Stipend is given so that the person is not forced to go back to manual scavenging practice for financial needs. A loan should be swiftly sanctioned so that immediately after the skill development training, the family can have alternative source of income. A long delay in-between these three steps, is counterproductive and fails to achieve the purpose of rehabilitation. But unfortunately, this is exactly what has been happening in Karnataka.

A review of the rehabilitation of 302 identified manual scavengers held in Feb 2017 (see video below courtesy Dalit Camera) held by the Karnataka State Safaikarmachari Commission along with the State Monitoring Committee brought out this piece-meal approach to rehabilitation by the ULBs and Ambedkar Development Corporation (the State Channelizing Agency for Karnataka)