Despite mandated by law, deaths during manual scavenging gets little attention from the government, show a new study.
When Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, a coalition of civil society organisations studied 51 cases involving deaths of 97 manual scavengers across 11 states of India, it showed that only in 35% of these cases (18) FIRs were filed and compensation was given to families only in 16 cases.
No prosecution was carried out in any of the cases and none of the children of the dead received pre-matric scholarships, it also showed. Not a single member of the family received any alternative jobs for rehabilitation, implying that a new member replaced the dead, it found.
The study showed that 94% of the families of the dead belonged to the Scheduled Castes and the rest to Other Backward Castes or Scheduled Tribes.
Over a third of the dead belonged to the 15-25 age group, and another third were in 25-35 age group, the study showed.
Experts say that the negligence is because officials don’t want to acknowledge that the practice exists, as manual scavenging has been banned in the country since 1993.