Union minister for social justice and empowerment Mukul Wasnik while accepting that the practice of manual scavenging is still in existence has claimed that the government is soon going to finalize a strategy to put an complete end on this practice.
Mukul Wasnik, while addressing a national conference on ‘Social Inclusion and Affirmative Action: Reservation of SCs/STs in Private Sector’ organized by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India
(ASSOCHAM), said that even after the concerted efforts of the government to abrogate the problem of manual scavenging, it still remains to be addressed considering acute shortage of public conveniences across India.
“As per the 2011 Census, there are about 26 lakh insanitary toilets including the 13 lakh toilets where human excreta is discharged in open drains and of the remaining some are serviced by the human beings and even animals. With such a huge number of insanitary toilets there is bound to be manual scavenging,” said Wasnik.
While quoting the Census 2011 the minister also said that there are about 49.8 per cent of households in India that defecate in open. He reflected it as a huge problem and expressed government's commitment to address the issue effectively.
Sharing his views on the efforts of the government to empower the weaker sections of the society the social welfare minister mentioned that as per the government’s recent public-procurement policy the government is committed to make 20 per cent of its total annual purchases of goods and services worth Rs 1.75 lakh crore from enterprises owned by SCs and STs in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).