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Focus on alternative jobs for scavengers, says Minister

Saturday 25 June 2005

Staff Correspondent

M.P. Government reiterates its commitment to eradicate carrying night soil on head

BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh Minister for Scheduled Caste Welfare, Gauri Shankar Shejwar, on Friday reiterated the State Government’s commitment to improving the lot of the scavengers and completely eradicating the evil practice of carrying the night-soil on head.

Dr. Shejwar was talking to The Hindu after attending a special conference on the issue of scavengers jointly organised by the Union Ministry of Urban employment and Poverty Alleviation and the Ministry of Social Justice in New Delhi last Wednesday. While the State Urban Administration department was directly addressing the issue, the State-owned autonomous Co-operative Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation Ltd was engaged in rehabilitating the scavengers by planning alternative employment, he said.

Loan assistance

The State Co-operative Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation Ltd. was formed with the principal objective of making available loan assistance and subsidy to the families belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes for financing projects for economic uplift. Later on, this Corporation was entrusted with the responsibility of implementing economic development schemes for the scavengers and the people engaged in unclean occupations.

Dr. Shejwar said that financial help was being provided to rehabilitate the scavengers. There were 81, 307 scavengers in the State, according to a survey conducted in 1992-93 and 80, 794 of them have been economically rehabilitated till now, he pointed out.

He said that the State Government has given top priority to the rehabilitation of sanitary workers.

So far, 5.65 lakh dry toilettes have been converted into flush ones. Necessary provisions have also been made in the house construction Act to ensure that there is no new construction of dry toilettes.

See online : The Hindu

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