330 People Died Cleaning Tanks, But No Manual Scavenging Deaths: Govt in LS

This is not the first time discrepancies in definition have surfaced.

Also on July 28, 2021, the Ministry of Athawale informed the Rajya Sabha that no manual scavenger had died in the country in the past five years.

Meanwhile, he had presented data from 2021 showing that 340 people had died while “cleaning sewers and septic tanks in the last five years (2016-2021)”.

According to the government’s definition, cleaning septic tank sewers does not count as “manual flushing”.

In January this year, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recommended expanding the definition of “manual rinsing” to include other hazardous cleaning activities.

It further recommended linking them to schemes such as MGNREGA, increasing cash aid from Rs 40,000 to Rs 1 lakh and including any deaths or atrocities committed against them in National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data.

The government last year proposed amending the 1993 law banning manual cleaning in India, which was previously amended in 2013 to make it stricter.

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