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Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
22-November-2010 17:21 IST
Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS)
The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1963 enacted by Parliament inter-alia 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 Schemes, which aims at conversion of dry latrines into pour flush latrines.

Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS) 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.

The National Advisory Council (NAC) has recommended to amend the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993, to ensure sharper definition of manual scavenging, and accountability of public officials. The matter is under consideration of the Government.

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 Lok Sabha today.

VBA/RS
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