Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
12-August-2014 16:40 IST
Eradication of Social Evils

The Parliament has enacted the Protection of Civil Rights (PCR) Act, 1955, which prescribes punishment for the enforcement of any disability arising from the preaching and practice of 'Untouchability'. As the responsibility of implementation of the PCR Act primarily lies with the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations, action is taken by them to effectively implement the Act. Under a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, Central assistance is also admissible to them, inter-alia, for awareness generation and incentive for inter-caste marriage where one of the spouses is a member of a Scheduled Caste, to promote social integration and harmony.

As per the data of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, 87 number of cases were registered under the PCR Act during 2013.

The practice of untouchability in the historical perspective is construed as a social evil emanating from caste based prejudices, and manual scavenging is a subhuman expression of the same. The Parliament has enacted the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (MS Act, 2013) to provide for prohibition of employment as manual scavengers and rehabilitation of manual scavengers and their families. Central Government has revised the Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers for rehabilitation of all manual scavengers identified under the provisions of the MS Act, 2013. The main features of the Scheme include one-time cash assistance, training with stipend and concessional loans with subsidy for taking up alternative occupations, to the target group. There is also a provision of awareness generation among the target group.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Sudarshan Bhagat in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha here today.