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Chaitra Devarhubli , DNA, July 30, 2013

The civic body will undertake a survey to identify these workers and help rehabilitate them in an alternate profession

Ahmedabad: Did you know that the city has 188 manual scavengers, that too when the activity has been banned completely? The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is carrying out a survey to identify the manual scavengers in the city to pull them out from the banned activity and rehabilitate them.
As per the central government’s Social Justice and Empowerment department, all states need to identify the exact number of manual scavengers for their rehabilitation. Though the state government claimed to be manual scavenging-free, the Census of 2011 says that Ahmedabad alone has 188 manual scavengers. Hence, the civic body has undertaken the survey to identify such workers in the city.
Elaborating on it, municipal commissioner Guruprasad Mohapatra said, “As per our records, there is no manual scavenging in city. But if the Census showed a figure of 188, then they need to be identified for rehabilitation.”
The survey will begin around August 5 wherein each city civic centre in all the six zones of the city has been entrusted with the work of registering manual scavengers. These workers will have to visit their nearest self-declaration centre, which has been set up at all civic centres and register themselves. Health supervisors and enumerators will then visit the spot where they work and verify their claims.
After verification, the final list will be prepared and submitted to the state government. “The whole idea is to abolish manual scavenging from the state by pulling out the workers from the banned profession and provide them alternate employment, health benefits, financial help etc,” said an official of solid waste management department of AMC, requesting anonymity.

AMC will publicise and spread the message to inform the targeted beneficiaries about such a survey. “It has been decided to display advertisements on autorickshaws and other mediums to spread the message effectively,” said the AMC official. The civic body aims to complete the survey by August 20.
Post the ban on manual scavenging, the civic body has been using sucking machines that use vacuum to suck in fecal waste and release it in drainage network.