Union Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said this in response to queries if the SECC mentions number of manual scavengers in the country and whether 'Skill India' initiative had initially listed scavenging as a job profile and what measures government has taken to move people out of the profession.
Mr Gehlot said, according to Union Rural Development Ministry, a total of 1,82,505 respondent households had identified themselves as manual scavengers during the SECC survey.
"However, this does not reveal manual scavenging as their main source of income," the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment said.
Mr Gehlot further referred to 'Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013' and said according to the law, it is required to verify a person's claim of being manual scavenger by local authority for him/her to become eligible for rehabilitation.
"Accordingly, state governments and Union Territories have been requested to verify SECC-2011 data of manual scavengers and upload list of identified manual scavengers on the website www.mssuvey.nic.in for their rehabilitation," Mr Gehlot said.
The minister also said Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers was revised to provide benefits such as onetime cash assistance of Rs 40,000, loans for project cost up to Rs 15 lakh on concessional interest rates, skill development training, etc, to identified manual scavengers after the act came into effect.
The scheme is being implemented through National Safai Karamcharis Finance Development Corporation scavengers after the act came into effect. The scheme is being implemented through National Safai Karamcharis Finance Development Corporation (NSKFDC).
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