The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the amendments to the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012, piloted by the Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry. The Bill is intended to eradicate manual scavenging. The amendments incorporate provisions like identifying manual scavengers through a nation-wide survey and the mandatory inclusion of women in vigilance committees at all levels.
The Bill was introduced on September 3, 2012, and it was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment. The Standing Committee reported to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in March, 2013, and this Bill will now be introduced in Parliament.
Earlier, the National Advisory Council (NAC) had written to the Prime Minister recommending a stronger manual scavenging Bill. The NAC in November, 2010, had sought the PM’s intervention in seeking an end to the “inhuman practice.”