Employing manual scavengers made an offence
Employing or engaging a person has become an offence now as Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013 comes into force across India except J&K. The law forbids the employment of manual scavengers, the manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks without protective equipment and the construction of insanitary latrines.
The law also has provisions for rehabilitation of manual scavengers and providing them alternative employment. With the enactment of this law, the construction and maintenance of the insanitary latrines has become an offence.
Key points of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013:
1.) Prohibition of Insanitary and Employment or engagement as Manual Scavengers
It will be an offence to:
- Construct or maintain an insanitary latrine
- Engage or employ a person to work as the Manual Scavenger
Penalty against offenders:
- First contravention is punishable with imprisonment up to 1 year or with the fine up to Rs 50,000 or both.
- Any subsequent contravention is punishable with imprisonment up to 2 years or with the fine up to Rs 5 lakh or both.
2.) Prohibition of person from engagement or employment for hazardous cleaning of a sewer or a septic tank
- First contravention is punishable with imprisonment up to two years or with a fine up to two lakh rupees or with both
- Any subsequent contravention is punishable with imprisonment up to five years or with fine up to five lakh rupees or with both
3.) Under this Act, offences are cognizable and non-bail able
4.) Time bound survey of Manual Scavengers in Urban and rural areas
5.) Comprehensive Rehabilitation of the Manual Scavengers within a time bound framework
- Manual Scavengers will be issued Photo Identity card
- Government will provide initial cash aid
- Children of the Manual Scavengers will be provided scholarship
- Residential plot with financial aid will be allocated for the construction of the house or a ready built house
- Imparting Manual Scavengers livelihood skill
- Providing concessional loan with subsidy for assuming alternative occupation
- Extending any other legal or programmatic help
6.) Vigilance/ Monitoring Mechanism
The implementation of the Act will be under the following Vigilance/Monitoring panels at various levels of State and Centre.
- District level committees will be headed by District Magistrate
- Sub-Division level committees will be headed by Sub Divisional Magistrate
- State level committees will be headed by Chief Minister
Centre level committees will be headed by Minister of Social Justice and Employment