Safai Karamchari Commission Chairman M.Shivanna said here on Friday that he will strive for the comprehensive development of pourakarmikas.
He told mediapersons that he will recommend the abolition of the practice of hiring pourakarmikas on contract. The pourakarmikas are an exploited lot and the contractors do not pay them properly as per the laws and are even deprived of Provident fund facilities in violation of the law.
Mr.Shivanna said the condition of the pourakarmikas whether they were engaged in UGD cleaning or other forms of labour, was pathetic and he will hold discussions with slum board development authorities and the Karnataka Housing Board personnel to ensure that they get decent accommodation facilities.
In the case of 1,600 pourakarmikas of Mysuru City Corporation, arrangements will be made to credit their wages directly into their bank accounts and this practice will come into effect from February 1.
He said the daily breakfast allowance for pourakarmikas who work from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift in the MCC will be increased from ₹20 to ₹50. More than 90 per cent of the pourakarmikas engaged in the morning shift are women and this enhanced allowance will benefit all of them, he added.
Expressing concern over the prevalence of manual scavenging and people still engaged in it, Mr.Shivanna said their numbers had increased from 302 in 2013 to over 3,000 in the present times. The commission will take this issue seriously and get it banned and those encouraging manual scavenging will be prosecuted, he warned.
Earlier, Mr.Shivanna visited a few residential colonies of the pourakarmikas to take stock of their living condition and apprise himself of their problems. He said most live in congested places with 2 or 3 families sharing a single house devoid of toilet or bathroom facilities.
Citing recommendations of the expert committees on improving the conditions of the pourakarmikas, Mr.Shivanna said he will study and strive to implement the measures to bring about an improvement in their living conditions besides giving emphasis to their education.