Survey to identify manual scavengers, says DC

 To identify manual scavengers (safai karmacharis) involved in cleaning human excreta in an insanitary latrine or in open drain, a survey will be held in Dakshina Kannada from February 29 to March 12, said Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim.

Briefing mediapersons here on Saturday, he said the survey would be based on the data collection in villages.

Zilla panchayat Chief Executive Officer P I Sreevidya said that with no credible data available on the number of manual scavengers, the State government has decided to identify them and their family members in order to work on the rehabilitation process as per the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.

After carrying out the survey and filling the questionnaires by visiting the houses of Safai Karmacharis, all 230 gram panchayats in the district should hold a special gram sabha and discuss about the manual scavengers and then, the filled forms with recommendations from each gram panchayat president should be sent to the zilla panchayat CEO. The special gram sabha should be organised between March 14 and 19.
The zilla panchayat CEO will send the survey forms to the deputy commissioner for verification between March 21 and 26. After he verifies it, the data will entered online between April 4 to 13 to be submitted to the government.

During the 2016-17 financial year, a rehabilitation plan will be worked out for the manual scavengers.

The survey team will include a panchayat development officer, gram panchayat secretary and second division assistant or revenue collector and a representative from an NGO. The representative of Samagra Grameena Ashrama Samsthe will be a part of the survey in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.

Those engaged or employed for manually cleaning, disposing or handling human excreta in an insanitary latrine or in an open drain or pit or a railway tracks will be covered in the survey, he said.

District Social Welfare Officer Santhosh said that this survey will provide the officials with the data in prescribed format to the zilla panchayat. The data so collected will be collated and sent to the State government, he added.

With over 15,375 enumerated manual scavengers in rural parts of the State, Karnataka had remained in the top five of the ignominious list recorded by the Socio Economic and Caste Census of 2011 in the country.

This represents 0.19 per cent of the more than 80 lakh households enumerated in the survey in 2011. The Dakshina Kannada district had 123 families of manual scavengers in the 2011 survey.

However, in the recently concluded socio-economic survey conducted under the aegis of the Karnataka Backward Classes Commission, the district had 634 families of manual scavengers with 96 in Mangaluru, 261 in Bantwal, 36 in Puttur, 222 in Belthangady and 19 in Sullia. There are possibilities that even the civic workers in urban local bodies are included in the list of manual scavengers, he added.

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