manual scavenging

For faecal sludge management, manual scavenging refers to the manual cleaning, transporting, disposing of, or handling of human excreta from any dry toilets, pits, or open areas using hand equipment such as buckets, shovels, etc. The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act of 1993 defines a “manual scavenger” as anybody who is involved in or employed in the manual transporting and disposal of human excreta. The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act of 2013 broadened the definition to include those who clean septic tanks, open sewers, or railway tracks.
A person engaged or employed by an individual, a local authority, an agency, or a contractor to carry, dispose of, or dumping of, or handling in any such waste in an unsanitary toilet or an open pit into which the human excreta from the insanitary latrines is disposed of, is referred to as a manual scavenger in the Act. In India, this type of sanitation job is inextricably tied to and related to the caste system. The poorer strata of society, particularly the Dalits, are often responsible for trash disposal or waste management.
The terms manual scavenging and scavenging simply vary in that manual scavenging refers to the manual disposal of faecal waste from pits to dumping sites, whilst scavenging refers to more precisely the recycling of obsolete goods and has a lot of relevance with rupees three. The word “manual scavenging” is distinct from the term “scavenging,” which refers to the process of selecting abandoned items and is one of the oldest commercial activity. Scavengers gather trash from the streets, dumps, and landfills, sorting it into reusable and recyclable materials that may be used in the economy’s manufacturing process.
Manual scavenging is one of the most heinous human rights abuses. It not only abuses the most vulnerable members of society, but it also poses a health risk to them. Skin infections, respiratory difficulties, long-term sickness, and mortality can all be caused by the toxic and deadly gases produced by the decomposition of faeces. Many individuals die in dungeons like manholes and dark pits filled with sewage as a result of the practise of manual scavenging. The main point is being the violation of the dignity of humans. According to a ministry of social justice and empowerment official, 1,013 people died while working as manual scavengers between the ages of 27 and 2020. Manual scavenging breaches not just the right to dignity, but also the general right to health, as well as the rights to life and liberty. Manual scavengers’ lives are continuously threatened by the health risks they face. Furthermore, by treating untouchables in an inhumane manner, it violates their right to equality.
The removal of manual scavenging is an urgent requirement. The state and society must take an active part in addressing this issue and investigate all viable options for correctly assessing and eventually eliminating this behaviour. It also necessitates the participation of all stakeholders in the implementation of total mechanisation and ensuring that it is made available to all individuals who are forced to engage in this despicable activity. The judicial system should also provide enough support in order to solve the situation at hand. We should also make every effort to make the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan mission a success, not just for the purpose of cleanliness, but also for the benefit of our society’s underprivileged groups.

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