Ahemdabad, April 28, 2014: In the last decade, Gujarat has seen deaths of 98 manual scavengers. This fact was brought forth by the Safai Kamdar Vikas Nigam in reply to an RTI query. Of these, families of 43 victims have not yet been paid compensation.
Ahmedabad has witnessed 18 deaths because of manual scavenging - the highest in the state. "For long, manual scavenging has been discouraged but deaths have taken place across municipal corporations and other civic bodies. The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 prohibits engagement of persons for manually carrying human excreta," says Kirit Rathod, a member of dalit activists group Navsarjan.
Rathod claims that there are around 50,000 official safai kamdars in the state who clean gutters but the state government has failed to uplift them through the Safai Kamdar Nigam. (Source: TNN)