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Sunday, March 13, 2011

States slow in abolishing manual scavenging: NHRC

Expressing concern over slow pace of abolition of manual scavenging and dry latrines, National Human Rights Commission today said the statistics projected in this regard by the public authorities, do not match the ground realities.

On the issue of manual scavenging, NHRC Chairperson Justice (retd) K G Balakrishnan said it is a matter of concern that the states are very slow in implementing the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993.

"As it is, even the 1993 Act is a half-hearted effort on abolition of manual scavenging given that there is no authority made accountable therein who can be held responsible for continuance of this practice", he said.

Equating manual scavengers with bonded labourers, the NHRC Chairperson said that they too need to be rehabilitated in a similar manner.

Describing shortage of water as an excuse in replacing dry latrines with flush latrines, Balakrishnan regretted that even the Railways have failed to put in place a foolproof system to stop this practice despite so much advancement in technology.

Through the Lenses !

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