Manual scavenging is an issue which has been prevalent in India for quite some time. Despite measures taken by the Government of India to ban the practice, the ground reality of the issue is quite eye shocking.
The practice of manual scavenging relating to dry latrines was illegalised in the year 1993. In the year 2013, a law was enacted in this regard known as The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). The Act aims to prohibit the employment of manual scavengers in India and rehabilitate manual scavengers along with their families.
However, according to the India Census 2011 of The Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, there are still more than 2.6 million dry latrines in the country. According to the survey conducted by National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) on the behalf of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment , roughly 170 districts were identified for survey in 18 different states of India. From the survey, it was concluded that nearly 87913 manual scavengers can be identified in India as on 20 August 2019.
Hence, this paper will focus on the various Acts and schemes which are in existence to prohibit the practice of manual scavenging and accordingly compare it with their actual implementation at the grassroots level in India.