<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre will soon be carrying out a survey to ascertain the number of manual scavengers in the country. To be conducted by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, the survey is expected to counter the severe under-reporting of the number of these labourers .As per the Socio Economic and Caste Census, 2011, there were 182,505 manual scavengers in India. After the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, the definition of manual scavengers was extended to include sanitation workers.The Act mandates that to be recognised as a manual scavenger to avail the benefits of rehabilitation (one-time payment of Rs 40,000), a person needs to be registered with the government.Till December 2015, only 12,226 manual scavengers were registered with the government. As per the 2011 Census, in over 182,505 households, human excreta is removed by hand, which has been outlawed under the MS Act.In a meeting chaired by minister Thawar Chand Gehlot earlier this month, the Central Monitoring Committee decided to carry out the survey. A senior ministry official said the National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) will carry out the survey.Under the MS Act, the chief executive officer of a panchayat or any municipal corporation must be verified and given identity cards. “Yet, the numbers do not reflect the severity of the problem. There have been a lot of deaths in sewers,” the official said. This year alone, over 130 manual scavengers have lost their lives.Recently, the government made it mandatory for private companies and contractors to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of any manual scavenger who loses his or her life during the job, over and above the Rs 10 lakh compensation paid by the government.

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Centre plans survey of manual scavengers