Mamohan Singh, who attended an inaugural session in New Delhi of a two-day conference of state ministers of welfare and social justice said "One of the darkest blots on our development process is that even after 64 years of independence, we still have the heinous practice of manual scavenging".
He firmly pledged that "this scourge will be eliminated from every corner of our country in the next six months." On the other hand, the Madras High Court expressed vexation over the slow pace in enacting a law to ban manual scavenging.
Manmohan Singh said that a group of experts of the social justice and empowerment ministry is drafting a new law in place of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. After the consultation with the state governments and other stakeholders, the Central Government had proposed to introduce the bill in parliament.
He added,"Several corporate houses have voluntarily adopted a code to ensure effective affirmative action. Ombudsmen have been appointed to ensure single point accountability. Nearly 1.12 lakh youth have been trained under entrepreneurship development and other programmes. But here too, much more needs to be done".