The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Wednesday issued a notice to Budaun District Magistrate seeking a report on Dalit women engaged in manual scavenging.
The NHRC issued the notice taking suo motu cognizance of The Indian Express report in the edition dated October 1 on Dalit women, many of them widows, who clean dry toilets in Ramzanpur and Mirzapur Midhauli villages in UP’s Budaun district.
In 2011, then Budaun DM had won the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for his campaign ‘Dalia Jalao’ for eliminating manual scavenging and the practice of dry or insanitary latrines. The report was part of an Indian Express series on sanitation from UP, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh ahead of the the launch of PM Narendra Modi’s “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”.
According to an NHRC statement, “the Commission has observed that the contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of the Dalits. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the DM, Budaun, calling for a report in the matter within two weeks”. “It was reported that most of such women were from the Dalit community and being widows had no alternative source of income,” it read.