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SC – Historic Judgment in fight to eradicate manual scavenging

 

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New Delhi

      . March 27, 2014

 

      Safai Karmachari Andolan welcomes historic judgment of Supreme Court on eradication of inhuman

 

      practice of . In its judgment today Supreme Court has deprecated the

 

        continuance of manual scavenging in the

country

      in blatant violation of Article 17 of the

 

Constitution of India

      by which, “untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is

 

      forbidden”. The court was emphatic about the duty cast on all sates and union territories “to

 

        fully implement (the

Law

      ) and to take action against the violators. In a significant

 

      endorsement of concerns raised by Safai Karmachari Andolan, the Supreme Court directed the

 

      government to, “Identify the families of all persons who have died in sewerage work (manholes,

 

septic tanks

      ) since 1993 and award compensation of Rs.10 lakhs for each such death to the

 

      family members depending on them”.The judgment has been given by Supreme Court Bench headed by

 

Chief Justice

      P Sathasivam.

 

      The court has been categorical that, “If the practice of manual scavenging has to be brought to

 

      a close and also to prevent future generations from the inhuman practice of manual scavenging,

 

      rehabilitation of manual scavengers will need to include:-

 

      (a) Sewer deaths – entering sewer lines without safety gears should be made a crime even in

 

      emergency situations. For each such death, compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs should be given to the

 

        family of the

deceased

      .

 

      (b) Railways– should take time bound strategy to end manual scavenging on the tracks.

 

      (c) Persons released from manual scavenging should not have to cross hurdles to receive what is

 

      their legitimate due under the law.

 

      (d) Provide support for dignified livelihood to safai karamchari women in accordance with their

 

      choice of livelihood schemes.

 

      Court also said that rehabilitation must be based on the principles of justice and

 

        transformation. The court also directed the

Indian Railways

      , which is the largest employer of

 

      manual scavengers in the country, to take time bound strategy to end manual scavenging on the

 

      tracks.

 

      National convenor of Safai Karamchari AndolanBezwada Wilsonsaid that,this is a victory of

 

      manual scavengers who have been fighting across the country for their liberation against the

 

      denial of central and various state governments repeatedly.The court acknowledged the

 

      significance of the data provided by the petitioner Safai Karmachari Andolan in its 12 years

 

      legal battle demonstrating, “that the practice of manual scavenging continues unabated. Dry

 

      latrines continue to exist notwithstanding the fact that the 1993 Act was in force for nearly

 

      two decades. States have acted in denial of the 1993 Act and the constitutional mandate to

 

      abolish untouchability.”

 

      Safai Karmachari Andolan, who has been spearheading the movement to end this obnoxious practice

 

      of manual scavenging across the country from last thirty years, said that the judgment has been

 

      huge armor in our fight and we are not going to rest until this judgment is fully implemented

 

      in letter and spirit across the country. The mission of Safai Karmachari Andolan is not to

 

        sleep until the last

manual scavenger

      is liberated and rehabilitated with a dignified

 

      profession.

 

 

 

Bezwada Wilson

 

      National Convenor

 

      Safai Karmchari Andolan,

 

      36 / 13 Ground Floor, East Patel Nagar

 

      New Delhi – 110 008

 

      Mob – 09311234793 , Ph-01125863166

www.safaikarmchariandolan.org

 

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Comment (1)

  1. Ambedkar demanded separate nation, not reservations for SC/ST. Google “Communal Award”

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