On December 24, 2020, Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot launched a Mobile Application ‘Swachhata Abhiyan’ for identifying & Geo-tagging the data of Insanitary Latrines & Manual Scavengers across the country. Using the app NGOs, Social Organisations & General public can upload details of any insanitary latrine or manual scavengers that they notice.
i.The reported Insanitary Latrines will be replaced with sanitary latrines & Manual Scavengers will be rehabilitated to provide dignity of life to them.
ii.Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Ram Das Athawale & Krishan Pal Gurjar were present during the launch.
iii.Construction or Maintenance of Insanitary latrines & engagement of persons for manual scavenging is prohibited under “Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers & Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013”.
To identify the location of Insanitary latrines due to absence of authentic data base.
i.According to the 2011 Census, Around 26 Lakh Insanitary Latrines exist in the country.
ii.The existence of insanitary latrines is one of the main reasons for manual scavenging.
iii.Government of India had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (implemented by Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs) in 2014 for identifying insanitary latrines & replacing them with sanitary latrines.
Key Points from Union Minister’s Speech:
i.Thaawarchand Gehlot stated that India has been declared as open defecation free, and around 9 crore sanitary latrines have been constructed under Swachh Bharat Mission.
ii.He also stated that around 66, 000 Manual Scavengers have been identified since 2013-14 by the State Government and a National survey in 194 districts.
iii.Around 57, 000 manual scavengers have been paid one time assistance of INR 40, 000 each.
iv.Government has provided skill training for manual scavengers & their dependents with a monthly stipend of INR 3000, and subsidy of upto INR 3, 25, 000 on Loans taken by them for self-employment projects.
Recent Related News:
i.On August 15, 2020, the State Governments and the 272 District Collectors launched a seven-month-long anti-drugs campaign namely “Nasha Mukt Bharat” or “Drug-Free India” by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment which will run till March 31, 2021.