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MANUAL SCAVENGING

CASE STUDY

MANUAL SCAVENGING



Patna High Court

Lalit Kishore and M.P. Gupta vs. State Of Bihar and Ors. On 14 August 2003

By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R.S. DHAVAN & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.K. SINGH

The Court is dealing with the subject of untouchability. Which is mentioned in Article 17 of the Constitution which says: Abolition of Untouchability.-"Untouchability" is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability rising out of "Untouchability" shall be an offense punishable in accordance with the law."

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar made the contribution of inserting this article. The following article is under part 3 of the constitution. It is part of Fundamental Rights. This article does not guarantee any right, but it takes away, by a Constitutional amendment. Constitution or no Constitution this horrible practice of Untouchability continues in the nation. No deterrent, whether a law or the mandate of the Constitution, has been able to eradicate this dehumanizing practice. Even after the Republic, any government has not been able to eradicate Untouchability, which the Constitution of India desired to be wiped out. Political platform speeches having no intention in their content to eradicate Untouchability nor scavenging. A political will between the political and the bureaucrat may make a dent, but unless it is done the results cannot be seen.

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment National Scheme of Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers and their dependents, The scheme aimed at providing alternative, dignified and viable occupations to scavengers and their dependents by the end of the Eighth Plan period (1992-97). The scheme, however, failed to achieve its intended objectives even after a decade of its implementation involving investments of more than Rs. 600 crore.

The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 though adopted by 16 States by April 2002, was not enforced in any State. As such, the scheme suffered due to the absence of linkage with the law.

The Government of Bihar apparently does not know where to look for official acknowledgments, acts of the legislature, beneficial schemes, and the reforming laws to take care of the untouchable, the scavenger, and the socially demeaned and outcaste downtrodden. Then for the benefit of the State Administration of Bihar, a text issued by the Government of India, acknowledging that untouchability exists, that scavengers have not disappeared, and that special laws have been framed to take up the reforms, except that certain states have adopted the laws but have not shown progress in implementing them. The text of the Government of India announcement in 2001 is reproduced under

"SANITARY MARTS: NOVEL SCHEME TO REHABILITATE SCAVENGERS".




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