Take a look at the essential concepts, terms, and phenomena from the static and current parts of the UPSC-CSE. Also, check the answer to the previous MCQ.
Subject: Social Justice
Relevance: This is one of the latest schemes. PIB notes that Urban India has recommitted itself towards ensuring the safety, dignity, and security of all sanitation workers (SafaiMitras). Sanitation workers and related issues are an important topics for Social Justice of GS II. It has always been an issue of concern. The scheme’s aim and its significance will act as a fodder for mains. Also, it is of direct relevance for prelims. Try out the point to ponder. Do not miss the MCQ below.
Why in news?
— The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launched ‘NAMASTE’ (National Action for Mechanized Sanitation Ecosystem) Scheme.
What is NAMASTE?
— Namaste is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) as a joint initiative of the MoSJE and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
— It envisages the safety and dignity of sanitation workers in urban India by creating an enabling ecosystem that recognises sanitation workers as one of the key contributors to operations and maintenance of sanitation infrastructure.
— In doing so, it provides sustainable livelihood and enhances their occupational safety.
— It focuses on capacity building and improved access to safety gear and machines.
What is the significance of the NAMASTE scheme?
— NAMASTE is significant as it will be providing access to alternative livelihoods support and entitlements to reduce the vulnerabilities of sanitation workers.
— It will enable them to access self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities and break the intergenerationality in sanitation work.
— NAMASTE will also bring about a behavior change amongst citizens towards sanitation workers and enhance demand for safe sanitation services.
What is the aim of NAMASTE?
— Zero fatalities in sanitation work in India.
— All sanitation work is performed by skilled workers.
— No sanitation workers come in direct contact with human faecal matter.
— Sanitation workers are collectivised into SHGs and are empowered to run sanitation enterprises.
— All sewer and septic tank sanitation workers (SSWs) have access to alternative livelihoods.
— Strengthened supervisory and monitoring systems at national, state and ULB levels to ensure enforcement and monitoring of safe sanitation work.
— Increased awareness amongst sanitation services seekers (individuals and institutions) to seek services from registered and skilled sanitation workers.
What else you should know?
— For the first time, 500 cities across India have declared themselves as ‘SafaiMitra Surakshit Shehar’.
— Capacity, manpower and equipment norms as stipulated by MoHUA and are providing safe working conditions for SafaiMitras.
— According to PIB, the ‘SafaiMitra Surakshit Shehar’ declaration done by 500 cities aligns with Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban’s longstanding goal of promoting sustainable sanitation practices and acting as a catalyst for the transformation of every ‘manhole’ into a ‘machine hole’.
— All Indian Cities to be SafaiMitra Surakshit by March 2024.
— Skill Development and trainings of Safai Mitras is being taken up with the support of the MoSJE through the National Safai Karamchari Finance Development Corporation (NSKFDC).
— It should be also noted that the ministry also promotes Urban Local Bodies and Safai Mitras to avail loans provided by MoSJE under its Swachhta Udyami Yojna to procure equipment and vehicles for cleaning sewers and septic tanks.
— The Government has formulated various structures like the Responsible Sanitation Authority (RSA) and Emergency Response Sanitation Unit (ERSU). This will ensure that only trained professionals are exposed to any potential hazard with appropriate safety gear (as a last resort, if the mechanized equipment is unable to make necessary improvements).
— National Safai Karamchari Financial Development Corporation (NSKFDC) would be implementing agency for NAMASTE.
— The safety of SSWs is a joint responsibility of MoSJE and MoHUA. Hence, the intent of NAMASTE is to strengthen convergence amongst both Ministries for governance and implementation of the NAMASTE components.
— The identified sanitation workers and their family members will be extended benefits of all the social security schemes being implemented by various departments.
— For providing a safety net to identified SSWs and their families they will be covered under the Ayushyaman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).
— The premium for AB-PMJAY for those identified SSWs families who are not covered earlier shall be borne under NAMASTE.
— Do not be confused. National AYUSH Morbidity and Standardized Terminologies Electronic Portal (NAMASTE Portal) was launched on 17th October, 2017 (2nd Ayurveda day). The portal provides standardised terminologies and morbidity codes for Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems of medicines.
Point to ponder: The demand for sanitation work, which had already been growing due to urbanization, has witnessed a steep increase following the successful construction of toilets in the first phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Discuss.
Consider the following statements and answer the question below:
1) BHARAT TAP initiative is to provide low-flow, sanitary-ware at scale, and thereby reduce water consumption at source considerably.
2) Namaste is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) as a joint initiative of the MoSJE and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
3) The ‘SafaiMitra Surakshit Shehar’ declaration done by 500 cities aligns with Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban’s longstanding goal of promoting sustainable sanitation practices.
Which of the statements are true?
a) 1 and 2 b) 2 and 3
c) Only 2 d) 1, 2 and 3
( sources: PIB, vikaspedia.in)