Address safai karmacharis' woes, officials told

District-in-Charge Minister Pramod Madhwaraj has directed officials in all the departments to respond effectively to the demands and problems of Safai Karmacharis.

Speaking after inaugurating a workshop on Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, as organised by the Zilla Panchayat and district administration, the minister said that the facilities available to the civic labourers should be ensured without creating problems. "They are the major and most important fraction of the society. They take care of the cleanliness and sanitation," he said. The minister said that civic labourers should be told about their rights and also about the various facilities given by the government. He also directed the Deputy Commissioner to hold separate meetings to speed up the applications concerning civic labourers and to guarantee better facilities by responding to their problems.

He urged the civic labourers to avail the benefits assured by the government. He said children belonging to civic labourers are offered free seats at Morarji Desai residential schools. He urged them to follow the ideals of Ambedkar which emphasises on education and unity.

National Law School, Bengaluru, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy research assistant Chandrasekhar said that in the country since 1993, manual scavenging is banned.

"The rehabilitation for all these manual scavengers is needed. They should be identified and offered identity cards and other facilities. The children are offered special educational facilities like scholarships. They are offered subsidy up to Rs 10 lakh for self-employment. All the civic labourers working in municipalities are recognised as safai karmacharis," he said.

The contract-based appointment has been stopped and they are offered proper salaries, the minister said.

"The Labour Department takes care of facilities like PFI and ESI," he said.

He added that awareness about the available facilities for civic labourers is the need of the hour.

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