New Delhi, Jun 28 : Members of the Rajya Sabha on Friday urged the Government to incorporate death penalty provision for employers in case a scavenger dies on job without proper safety gear.
Elder also demanded for their rehabilitation and maximum compensation for the scavenger in case of his death during the cleaning work.Moving a private members resolution calling for death penalty for employers in case of death of scavengers, RJD member Manoj Kr Jha said that despite the promulgation of the prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act (PEMSRA), 2013, this practice is still continuing in the country.To stop this, the Government needs to incorporate death penalty to their employers in case of the death of scavengers while cleaning the municipal sewers or private septic tanks without safety gears and adhere to the PEMSRA provisions , he said.
There is rough estimate that on average there is one death in four days somewhere in the country and this not a natural death but manmade death which the scavengers are forced to do as they do not have any other alternative,”, Mr Jha said.The cleaning of sewage must be mechanized by the Government and any contractor who does not provide safety gears should immediately banned, he urged.BJP member Satyanarayan Jatia, while speaking on this issue, said,''we talk about the welfare of this section but nothing substantial has not been come up on the ground so far. We need to focus on their rehabilitation and provide them better alternatives so that they leave this inhuman profession which they often do due to lack of appropriate jobs.''
He said that the Government should focus on the mechanized cleaning system and do the needful options so that they opt for better alternatives.Speaking on the issue, Congress member Amee Yagnik said that death of a scavenger while cleaning the sewage is violation of the human right of the United Nations.''We should provide the Government with better solutions so that this evil practice comes to an end,''he said.
SP member Vishwambhar Prasad Nishad said that the Government should check this practice and delist those contractors who do not provide safety gears.
''We also need to provide them alternatives to switch from this profession,''he said.
AIADMK member Vijila Sathyanath also urged the Government to stop manual scavenging at all level and must punish those employers who violate the PEMSRA’s provisions.BJD member Prasanna Acharya said that there is the new trend among the Government organizations of handing over this job in private hands. ''The Government must ensure that contractors must provide all safety gears to scavengers and enough compensation in case of death,''he said..
AAP member Sanjay Singh said that after promulgation of PEMSRA, it has become the offence, if the cleaning is done manually.''The victim often does not get compensation as the contractors connive with the doctor and issues wrong postmortem report and the contractor or employer escapes the liability of paying compensation,'' he said.
“ The Government should formulate a better plan for the better future of the scavengers , better housing facilities, schools for their children”, Singh said. (UNI)