Manual scavenging is manually disposing of human excreta. Manual scavenging and deaths due to it are common in India which needs to be voiced out. Few shouts out for it often.
Congress MP Mallikargun Kharge and L. Hanumanthaiah raised a question in Rajya Sabha on 27th July about the deaths reported in India due to manual scavenging in the last 5 years. Social Justice Minister Ramdas Athawale gave a shocking reply to the question, “No such deaths have been reported due to manual scavenging’.
Answering that there were no deaths due to manual scavenging is baseless. The same Social Justice Minister, Ramdas Athawale has given the data last February that 340 people have died due to manual scavenging in the last 5 years.
As per the data given in February, “340 people have died due to manual scavenging in last 5 years. Uttar Pradesh tops the list. Tamil Nadu is second on the list with 43 deaths. 75% of the total count is from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana and Karnataka”. We have also published an article on the same.
As per the data by the Minister on 28th July 2021, 66692 people are involved in manual scavenging in India out of which the highest count 37379 are in Uttar Pradesh, 7378 in Maharashtra, 6170 in Uttarakhand and 4295 are deployed in Assam.
Activist Bezwada Wilson condemns the government for the minister’s baseless response. He also added that 472 deaths across the country were reported during the mentioned period, and the minister needs to apologise for providing such a response.
Minister Athawale is slammed for providing the data previously on manual scavenging deaths but claiming that no such deaths were reported now.