Over 10 lakh still lift dirt on their heads, survey report

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Hoshiarpur, Aug 31 (UNI) More than 10 lakh men and women are still lifting dirt on their heads in the country, according to data available with the National Commission For Safai Karamcharis (NCFSK).

Stating this in a press conference here today, chairperson of NCFSK, Mrs Santosh Chowdhary asserted that according to her information the number of manual scavengers was much higher than that of existing figures available with the Commission. She has already written to all the Chief Ministers of states to get another survey done of the manual scavengers in their respective states to ascertain their exact number as the Commission was determined to eradicate scavenging before the end of next year.

On account of the efforts of the Commission, for the first time in the country minimum wages for 'safai karamcharis' had been revised and fixed by the Union Ministry for Labour. A daily wage of Rs 180 for A category cities, Rs 150 for B category and Rs 120 for C category cities had been fixed and implemented from August 8 for the 'safai karamcharis.' This would certainly boost the standard of living of SCs and STs class in the country, Mrs Chowdhary stated.

Mrs Chowdhary further said she had already written to the Chief Ministers of various states to regularise the services of daily wage earners working as 'safai karmcharis.' The Commission had asked the Railway authorities to provide direct employment to all the 'safai karamcharis' working at railway stations, as they were being under paid by the contractors who had hired them.


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