Bihar to provide money for rehabilitating manual scavengers

December 5th, 2009 - 6:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Dec 5 (IANS) The Bihar government will provide financial assistance of Rs.15 crore to rehabilitate nearly 5,000 Dalits who are still engaged in manual scavenging, an official said Saturday.
“Nearly 5,000 Dalits engaged in manual scavenging will be provided Rs.30,000 each as financial assistance on Dec 10 here at a function,” Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Welfare department principal secretary K.P. Ramiah told IANS.

“The state government has decided to provide financial assistance to those engaged in manual scavenging for rehabilitating them,” Ramiah said.

He said the inhuman practice still exists in the state despite the central government’s directive over two years ago to abolish it.

“But now, the state government is committed to abolish manual scavenging by launching a special scheme for rehabilitating people engaged in this inhuman practice,” he said.

As per the official survey of 1996, 10,641 people were engaged in manual scavenging in different parts of Bihar.

But NGOs working among Dalits estimate that nearly 20,000 people were working as manual scavengers. The term ‘manual scavenging’ describes the work of manually cleaning and removing human excreta from toilets.

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