Seeking to light a lamp in the lives of manual scavengers this Diwali, BJP MP Varun Gandhi distributed sewing machines and hand-pulled carts to a hundred people in his constituency today. “I celebrate Diwali with those who need it the most. We start our mission to make Sultanpur the 1st manual scavenging free district in India,” he tweeted.
Manual scavenging has been declared unlawful by the government but is still rampant, he said. In the last one year, every day one person was killed while cleaning manholes, the MP added. “They (manual scavengers) are the poorest of the poor and they will not leave this and switch to other modes of employment unless they have alternatives,” Gandhi told PTI. He had made arrangements for training the people of Sultanpur, his Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, and tied up with some NGOs for this, he said.
All those working as manual scavengers in the district will be trained for three months and during this process will be paid Rs 6,000 per month, Gandhi added. Men will be trained in producing food items such as biscuits and jams, while women will be trained in textile related activities.
All the expenses related to training and the cost of sewing machines and carts which were distributed today would be personally borne by him, the MP said.