Swachchakar Dignity

A blog to give you first hand reports on the conditions of Swachchkar community, their issues and concerns. A campaign for complete abolition of scavenging practices and brigning forth the growing voices of change with in the community.

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Learning through working. Working at the grassroots made me realise the big difference between those who claim to represent communities as well as the communities themselves. Common man is crushed between the ambitions of various individuals to lead and dominate. The dominant and high numbered communities will always dominate our discourse and the most marginalised are losing in this entire discourse. That is the reason why Mushahar remain at the marginalised and the issue of manual scavenging still not on our top agenda and to eliminate that the community has to decide its own organisations..

I am devoted to freedom of ideas and expression. I personally feel that we in the subcontinent want to dominate and control our discourse and each one of is a ultra nationalist in terms of their caste and community. Nationalism is not just national and political but it is equally in term of religion and caste. I feel each kind of nationalism is a dominant discourse which deny the dissenter a right to speak.

At the end, we all want to listen the truth suitable to us.. we have become expertised in the art of speaking truth of convenience. As long as that remain hall mark of our society and we speak to already converts, this society will remain stagnant, it will always try to control our ideas and choices. We need to oppose any such perception, ideas that want to control our mind and victimise us.

To understand India further, I feel, it is good to do foot walk, ( Padyatras) to various parts of the country. I have so far done it thrice covering nearly 1500-2000 kilometers. It is always interesting to see how people are coping their issues and what is the reason of their exploitation.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rehabilitation of the Swachchakars


Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers
16:55 IST
25 November, 2010 The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines(Prohibition) Act, 1993 prohibits manual scavenging. As per the Act, no person shall (a) engage in or employ for or permit to be engaged in or employed for any other person for manually carrying human excreta; or (b) construct or maintain a dry latrine. Contravention of these provisions is a criminal offence.

So far, the Act has been adopted by 23 States and all Union Territories. Two States, viz. Manipur and Mizoram have reported that they have no dry latrines, or they are scavenger free. Two States, viz. Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan have their own Acts. State of Jammu & Kashmir is yet to adopt the Act. Sanitation is a State subject. Enforcement of the Act lies with State Governments.

As per the available information, dry latrines exist in three States, namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation is implementing the Integrated Low Cost Sanitation Scheme, which aims at conversion of dry latrines into pour flush latrines.

Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS) was launched in January, 2007 to provide financial support to the manual scavengers and their dependents for their rehabilitation in alternative occupations. The Scheme has the following main components:-

(i) Skill training for a period upto one year, with payment of stipend @ Rs. 1,000 per month.
(ii) Loan at concessional rate of interest for self employment projects costing upto Rs. 5 lakh.
(iii) Capital subsidy @ 50% of the project cost, for projects upto Rs. 25,000, and @ 25% for projects above Rs. 25,000, with a minimum of Rs. 12,500 and maximum of Rs. 20,000.

As per reports received from State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, there were 1,18,474 manual scavengers and their dependents for rehabilitation under the Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS), out of which 78,941 beneficiaries found to be eligible and willing for loan, have been provided loan and capital subsidy for enabling them to take up alternative self employment ventures.

This information was given by Shri. D. Napoleon, the Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.


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