There is no report of people currently engaged in manual scavenging in the country. Manual scavenging as defined under Section 2 (1) (g) of the “Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (MS Act, 2013)” is prohibited with effect from 6.12.2013. No person or agency can engage or employ any person for manual scavenging from the above date. Any person or agency who engages any person for manual scavenging in violation of the provisions of the MS Act, 2013 is punishable under Section 8 of the above Act, with imprisonment upto 2 years or fine upto Rs. One Lakh or both.
Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, since October 2, 2014, more than 10.84 crore sanitary toilets have been constructed in rural areas and over 62 lakh in urban areas and insanitary toilets have been converted into sanitary toilets. This work made a huge contribution towards ending the practice of manual scavenging. After receiving reports from the social institutions working in this field, about continuation of this practice, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched a mobile app “Swachhata Abhiyaan” on 24.12.2020 to capture the data of insanitary latrines still existing and manual scavengers associated with them. Any person can upload the data of insanitary latrines and manual scavengers on the mobile app. Thereafter, the data is verified by the concerned district administration. However, not a single insanitary latrine has been confirmed so far.
This information was given by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Ramdas Athawale in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.