Dec. 3, 2011: Enumeration of manual scavengers as a separate category has been completely left out of the urban SECC 2011 in Rajasthan. As per the ministry of rural development, Government of India guidelines, manual scavengers are one of the five categories of households who are to be compulsorily included in the list of beneficiaries for various schemes identified by the new SECC 2011 which is in progress.
Strangely, the question on whether a household member is engaged in manual scavenging has been explicitly included in the rural questionnaire (Section 4, col.7), but missing in the urban one. In fact the urban questionnaire not only excludes any such question, in column 11 which asks the main source of income of household members, it lumps cleaners and gardeners (safaiwala/ swachatakarmi / mali) under the same category.
"The government says it will identify and rehabilitate manual scavengers on the one hand, and excludes them during a nationwide survey which could have provided the figures. The Finance Ministry has earmarked Rs 98 crore for rehabilitation of manual scavengers , of which the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry plans to spend Rs 36 crore on a survey it has not even begun. The SECC 2011 could have been used to do this (as it anyway has to) and avoid duplication and waste of resources, but this opportunity has been missed," said Bezwada Wilson,national convenor of Safai Karamchari Andolan (SKA). Read More
(Source: The Times Of India)