Manual Scavenging (Download PDF)

Doorsteptutor material for CLAT is prepared by world's top subject experts: fully solved questions with step-by-step explanation- practice your way to success.

The practice of manually cleaning, carrying, disposing or handling in any manner, human excreta from dry latrines and sewers is known as Manual Scavenging. As per the Section 2 (g) of the Prohibition of Employment Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (hereinafter the PEMSR Act, 2013) defines manual scavenger as ″ a person engaged or employed by an individual or a local authority or an agency or a contractor, for manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of practices.

A Pervasive Scourge Manual Scavenging

Manual Scavenging Overview

  • Service latrines are waterless toilets, human excreta collected from buckets and cesspools manually.
  • They clean without proper gear and missionary which resulting in many accidents in recent.
  • Tamilnadu had registered as highest deaths of 206 due to manual scavenging.
  • This data of deaths from 1993 to 2019 which is highest among all the states followed by Gujarat.
  • 156 deaths were registered in Gujarat.
  • 15 States have not reported any data on deaths of manual scavenging.
  • There were highest numbers of service latrines in Uttar Pradesh nearly 3.26 Lakh of service latrine are presented in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The people who lost their lives in manual scavenging are not getting adequate compensation.
  • According to the 2011 census, the cases on manual scavenging where 7.9 lakh.
  • The data shown from the Socio Economic Caste Census 2011,1.8 lakh of households are engaged in the manual scavenging for their livelihood.
  • According to the census, Maharashtra has 63,713, Madhya Pradesh has 17,619, Uttar Pradesh has 17,619, Tripura has 17,332, and Karnataka has 15,375 manual scavengers.
  • India is the only country in the world to practice, particular society is traditionally responsible for keeping the habitation of cleaning, removing waste products.
  • It is more prevalent in Gujarat, MP, UP and Rajasthan.
  • Some municipalities in India run on dry public toilets.
  • Indian Railways are creating main problem, they employ manual scavengers to clean excreta on tracks manually.
  • The exact manual scavengers data till now unknown.

Government Initiatives on Manual Scavenging

  • Government was focused on working and living conditions of manual scavengers till 1980.
  • The ministry of home affairs in 1980 - 81, started centrally sponsored scheme for Liberation of scavengers by conversion of dry latrine into low cost pour flush latrine to provide alternate employment to manual scavengers.
  • The employment of manual scavengers and construction of dry latrines (prohibition) act 1993 banned manual scavenging but it is ineffective in the implementation.
  • Parliament passed a Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 according to it no agency or no person should employ for cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.
  • Septic tanks had to clean with mechanism system.
  • It prohibits the construction of insanitary latrines.
  • The district magistrate and local authorities are the implementing bodies.
  • Violation of act can be punished with 2 years of imprisonment or fine or both.

Problems Related to Manual Scavenging

Problems Related to Manual Scavenging
  • Manual scavenging is a caste based and gender based occupation. The woman in Manual scavenging accounts for 90 % and they paid less compared to men.
  • There should be need to adopting other technology to end manual scavenging.
  • Provide jobs for women with alternative livelihood option.
  • Manual Scavenging is still exists in India leading to lots of deaths due to improper sewage treatment system.
  • This practice of manual scavenging will leads to untouchability. Untouchability was prohibited under Article 17 of the Indian Constitution.
  • According to recent survey 54,130 people are engaged in employment in manual scavenging till July 2019 but this survey was conducted only in 18 states and 170 districts only.

Health Issues Related to Manual Scavenging

  • Cleaning of human excreta without proper protection or safety norms leads to respiratory and skin diseases.
  • Most of sewer workers died at the age of 40 by a lot of health issues such as a cholera, hepatitis, typhoid, cardiovascular problems, rotavirus, norovirus and pinworms.

- Published/Last Modified on: December 11, 2019

Policy/Governance, Health, Govt. Schemes/Projects, Down-to-Earth

Developed by: