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941 deaths while cleaning sewers, septic tanks: Centre informs Rajya Sabha

However, no reports of death due to manual scavenging have been provided by the Centre

Sabrangindia 04 Aug 2021

DeathImage Courtesy:newindianexpress.com

While replying to a question tabled in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of Social Justice and Employment, Virendra Kumar, has informed the Parliament that 941 deaths related to cleaning sewers and septic tanks have been recorded across 21 States and Union Territories, but there are no reports of death due to manual scavenging. His response stated that as per the two surveys conducted by the local authorities in 2013 and 2018, as many as 58,098 persons have been identified as manual scavengers.

The Ministry's written answer said, “There is no report of death due to manual scavenging”, but it revealed figures pertaining to deaths of workers while cleaning sewer/septic tanks. The highest number of deaths has been reported from the States of Tamil Nadu (213), followed by Gujarat (153), and then Uttar Pradesh (104).

Centre to Rajya Sabha

In February this year, the government had said that the reported number of manual scavenging deaths stood at 340 across 19 States, with Uttar Pradesh topping the list at 52 deaths, as reported previously by SabrangIndia. However now, the stance seems to have changed. A few days ago, in a written response dated July 28, the Centre said “no such deaths have been reported”. This answer has once again been repeated through this recent response dated August 4.

The response received a backlash on Twitter and other social media platforms, with people calling out the government’s insensitivity to people dying while doing this work, which is illegal under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.

Human Rights activist Bezwada Wilson, who is also the national convenor of the Safai Karmachari Andolan, criticised the government for their lack of sensitivity and acknowledgment of the problem. He revealed that about 472 deaths from the year 2016 to 2020, and 26 deaths alone this year had been recorded due to manual scavenging. Further, he added that the details of all such incidents had also been sent to the Centre, but to no avail.

 

Wilson, while speaking to The Hindu, also said, “The statement itself is a very inhuman statement. The practice is inhuman of course, but the statement is very inhuman and cruel. They know that people died, and they reported it in the last Parliament, and now in this Parliament they are saying that nobody died.”

The answer may be read here: 

Related:

Centre claims that nobody died due to manual scavenging reported in the last 5 years!
Manual Scavengers: 340 deaths, yet Centre has no intention to make stricter laws!

941 deaths while cleaning sewers, septic tanks: Centre informs Rajya Sabha

However, no reports of death due to manual scavenging have been provided by the Centre

DeathImage Courtesy:newindianexpress.com

While replying to a question tabled in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of Social Justice and Employment, Virendra Kumar, has informed the Parliament that 941 deaths related to cleaning sewers and septic tanks have been recorded across 21 States and Union Territories, but there are no reports of death due to manual scavenging. His response stated that as per the two surveys conducted by the local authorities in 2013 and 2018, as many as 58,098 persons have been identified as manual scavengers.

The Ministry's written answer said, “There is no report of death due to manual scavenging”, but it revealed figures pertaining to deaths of workers while cleaning sewer/septic tanks. The highest number of deaths has been reported from the States of Tamil Nadu (213), followed by Gujarat (153), and then Uttar Pradesh (104).

Centre to Rajya Sabha

In February this year, the government had said that the reported number of manual scavenging deaths stood at 340 across 19 States, with Uttar Pradesh topping the list at 52 deaths, as reported previously by SabrangIndia. However now, the stance seems to have changed. A few days ago, in a written response dated July 28, the Centre said “no such deaths have been reported”. This answer has once again been repeated through this recent response dated August 4.

The response received a backlash on Twitter and other social media platforms, with people calling out the government’s insensitivity to people dying while doing this work, which is illegal under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.

Human Rights activist Bezwada Wilson, who is also the national convenor of the Safai Karmachari Andolan, criticised the government for their lack of sensitivity and acknowledgment of the problem. He revealed that about 472 deaths from the year 2016 to 2020, and 26 deaths alone this year had been recorded due to manual scavenging. Further, he added that the details of all such incidents had also been sent to the Centre, but to no avail.

 

Wilson, while speaking to The Hindu, also said, “The statement itself is a very inhuman statement. The practice is inhuman of course, but the statement is very inhuman and cruel. They know that people died, and they reported it in the last Parliament, and now in this Parliament they are saying that nobody died.”

The answer may be read here: 

Related:

Centre claims that nobody died due to manual scavenging reported in the last 5 years!
Manual Scavengers: 340 deaths, yet Centre has no intention to make stricter laws!

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