Centre has launched a challenge as part of the "Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention" to
eliminate the need for manual scavenging, the convention is to be held on October 18 this year.
Government launched challenge for elimination of Manual scavenging
Under the challenge government has asked the innovators, NGOs, research institutions, companies and cities to propose
technology and business solutions to clean urban sewers and septic tanks without human entry.
The plan is to identify technological and business process innovations to endorse viable business models suitable
for cities of different sizes and geographies. Shortlisted technologies and solutions will be implemented on pilot
basis in cities to bridge the gap between innovators or manufacturers and beneficiaries such as urban local bodies
What is preventing elimination of Manual scavenging ?
The machines to clean sewers and septic tanks are already available globally but the government needs to show the
political will to actually use those technology according to Indian conditions on the ground on a large scale.
Technologies are already available in the country with several universities, NGOs and researchers but the problem
lies with their implementation as there is no nationwide government department or agency with the responsibility to
eradicate manual scavenging.
Around 150 manual scavengers has died even after enactment of The Prohibition of Employment as
Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, the government needs to change its instance from
giving compensation when a manual scavenger dies to prevent such deaths in the first place.