Legislations of Manual Scavenging
Manual scavenging is much to be considered as an issue that could be controlled and prohibited through proper policy making and creating a strong legally enforceable bill for which many movements have taken place. The noteworthy thing about this issue is, it is prohibited by the Indian constitution in 1950 but this practice is prevalent in most of the parts of India till 1993. It was in 1993 the first bill passed by P.V Narasimha Rao government which is called “Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act 1993”, defines manual scavenger as “A person engaged in or employed for manually carrying human excreta”. Prior to analysing the flaws in 1993 bill if one has to ponder upon the logical sequence of major steps that have to be taken, the vital ones are identification, liberation and rehabilitation of manual scavengers. In 1993 act, the identification part itself is missing since it is not able to cover the different types of other activities which are part of the scavenging and more than that the largest number of manual scavengers employed by Indian railways which is completely out of scope of this prohibition act. It also ignores the human indignity component involved in this activity instead more focused on sanitation. This bill is enacted under state list but not many states came forward to implement this and also no directions for rehabilitation programmes to be provided, hence it resulted as a feeble and toothless law for last two decades. In 2013 Indian government passed another bill on the same, which has wider scope and implementation capabilities. The following is the comparison between the 1993 bill and 2013 bill in definition:
The broad differences in the two bills are displayed below:
Name of Act
Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act Prohibition of Employment as Manual
Scavengers and their...
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