The country has 58,098 manual scavengers and 42,594 of them belong to the Scheduled Castes, the government has told Parliament.
Minister of State of Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdass Athwale said this in Rajya Sabha in a written reply to a question by RJD member Manoj Kumar Jha.
The ministry said that a number of surveys on manual scavengers in the country have been carried out according to the provisions of the manual scavenging Act, 2013. These surveys have confirmed a disproportionately large number of manual scavengers from Scheduled Castes alone.
According to this data, 431 manual scavengers are OBCs, 421 are from Scheduled Tribes and 351 manual scavengers belong to the “Others’’ category.
The ministry said the government is implementing a central employment scheme for rehabilitation of manual scavengers which provides a one-time cash assistance of Rs 40,000, and skill training for the person and their dependents with a stipend of Rs 3,000 per month for the period of their training. It also provides for capital subsidy of
Rs 5 lakh for those who have taken loans for self-employment projects and health insurance under Ayushman Bharat for scavengers and their families.
The ministry said the one-time cash payment has been given to all manual scavengers in the country. It said that 18,199 have been given skill training and 1,562 capital subsidies. Manual scavenging had been banned in 2013, with the provision that no one could be employed as one from that date.