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New Delhi: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on January 19, 2022, approved the extension of the tenure of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) for three years beyond 31.3.2022.
The total implication of the extension for three years would be approximately Rs.43.68 crore, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment said in a press release.
It added that the major beneficiaries would be the Safai Karamcharis (sanitation workers) and identified manual scavengers in the country.
The number of Manual Scavengers identified under the MS Act Survey as on 31.12.2021 is 58098.
The NCSK was established in the year 1993 as per the provisions of the NCSK Act 1993 initially for the period upto 31.3.1997. Later the validity of the Act was initially extended upto 31.3.2002 and thereafter upto 29.2.2004. The NCSK Act ceased to have effect from 29.2.2004. After that the tenure of the NCSK has been extended as a non-statutory body from time to time through resolutions. The tenure of the present Commission is upto 31.3.2022.
The NCSK has been giving its recommendations to the Government regarding specific programmes for the welfare of Safai Karamcharis, studying and evaluating the existing welfare programmes for Safai Karamcharis, investigating cases of specific grievances, etc.
Also as per the provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, the NCSK has been assigned the work to monitor the implementation of the Act, tender advice for its effective implementation to the Centre and State Governments and enquire into complaints regarding contravention/non-implementation of the provisions of the Act.
Though the Government has taken many steps for the upliftment of the Safai Karamcharis, the deprivation suffered by them in socio-economic and educational terms is still far from being eliminated. Although manual scavenging has been almost eradicated, sporadic instances do occur. Hazardous cleaning of sewer/septic tanks continues to be an area of the highest priority for the Government.
Hence, the Government feels that there is a continued need to monitor the various interventions and initiatives of the Government for the welfare of Safai Karamcharis and to achieve the goal of complete mechanization of sewer/septic tanks cleaning in the country and rehabilitation of manual scavengers. (Press Release)