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17th June - The Hindu Editorial - Part-2(in Hindi)
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Subhodeep Das
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  1. The numbers lie Under-reporting of persons involved in manual scavenging reflects state apathy,societal bias Policy must address this UBHODEEP


  2. Context That manual scavenging is banned by law in the country and state agencies are bound to act against its prevalence could be the reason why every official count of those engaged in the activity is low. Recent inter-ministerial task force has estimated 53,000 manual scavengers in 12 states, four times more than an official count from 2017, the real numbers could be much more than that. UBHODEEP


  3. EDITORIAL DISCUSSION 17th June THE HINDU unacademy


  4. Reason for the relativelv small numbers The methodology used to survey the workers The various exclusions, especially of workers in urban areas, and Rampant under-reporting by state agencies -There is a continued reluctance on the part of state governments to admit that the practice prevails under their watch. For instance, Haryana government has reported zero manual scavengers whereas the survey counted 1,040 In UP, the state government reported 1,056 persons whereas the survey found 28,796. UBHODEEP


  5. Ground Realities: The data is limited to persons involved in cleaning insanitary latrines, or nightsoil carriers no data exists for those who clear excreta from railway tracks, septic tanks and sewage and sewer systems. UBHODEEP


  6. Need: The first step towards solving a problem is to admit that it exists. Acceptance of the caste system, its hierarchy of labour and division of labourers has also influenced decision-makers with regard to this dehumanising practice Many local governments and state agencies, unwilling to invest in technology and in the rehabilitation of workers, prefer to hide the prevalence of the practice instead of acting to end it... UBHODEEP


  7. same sentiment that influenced the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 to be drafted in a manner that allows the employment of manual labour to clean sewage and sewer lines the Act permits the practice if the employer provides protective gear and ensures observance of safety precautions. This loophole acts as a disincentive for the local governments UBHODEEP


  8. Need opting for technology-driven solutions provision to provide protective and safety gear is more flouted than followed - Imbibe the spirit of Swaccha Bharat abhiyan 2022 New India. Any lasting solution towards ending the practice will need policy-makers to see why and how it continues to be embedded in the caste system. UBHODEEP


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