Skill training for manual scavengers begins

Updated - November 29, 2016 07:44 am IST

Published - November 29, 2016 01:03 am IST - CHENNAI:

changing course:  Manual scavengers will be rehabilitated with alternative jobs. —

changing course: Manual scavengers will be rehabilitated with alternative jobs. —

The Greater Chennai Corporation on Monday started a training programme on skill development as part of the rehabilitation of manual scavengers.

A group of 170 manual scavengers participated in the programme organised by the Chennai Corporation with the support of Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar Housing and Development Corporation Limited (TAHDCO).

The manual scavengers will get Rs. 40,000 and participate in the free training session for six months, following which they are expected to get a maximum loan amount of Rs.2.25 lakh from banks through TAHDCO for self employment.

The training will include electrician and computer courses, cell phone repair, plastic products manufacturing and beautician courses.

In 2015, the Chennai Corporation had compiled a list of 252 manual scavengers in the city. A total of 82 of the manual scavengers in the original list have been removed after yet another round of verification.

Owing to the delay in rehabilitation after the announcement of the ban in March 15, 2015, many have chosen alternative sources of livelihood including jobs such as cab drivers. Such persons have lost the opportunity to get free training and financial support owing to their lack of awareness. Officials also have removed their names without explaining the significance of the training programme to the beneficiaries.

Ramesh of Chinna Porur in ward 151 was on the original list of manual scavengers. He belongs to the scheduled caste. He started working as a cab driver a few months ago, losing an opportunity to get free training under the scheme.

“Officials just asked me if I wanted a job. I thought they wanted me to work as manual scavenger. So I did not want to participate in the programme,” said Mr. Ramesh, who dropped out of school after Class VI.

Manual scavengers such as K. Balaji of Kil Ottivakkam of Kancheepuram district had worked for more than 10 years here in ward 89. Their names have been removed from the list of manual scavengers in Chennai City. Corporation officials have asked them to visit Kancheepuram Collectorate for rehabilitation as his residence is not in corporation limits. But such people are yet to get the benefits of rehabilitation in Kancheepuram.

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