Manual Scavenging in India: A Critical Study

  • Mr. Mohit and Mr. Sanjeev
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  • Mr. Mohit

    Pursued LL.M. from Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab, India

  • Mr. Sanjeev

    Pursued LL.M. from Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab, India

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One of the social stigmas associated with Indian society is manual scavenging. In India, Manual scavenging is practiced in various places of India even in the present times. Around 1.3 million Dalits in India, largely women, are engaged in the inhumane practice of manual scavenging, according to estimates from The International Dalit Solidarity. Even in this day of science and technology, it is regrettable that manual scavenging still persists. Despite the fact that various regulations in India attempt to eliminate manual scavenging, there has yet to be a single case documented (since 1993). The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) fails to provide statistics on the number of cases filed under The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, in their ‘Crime in India’ reports for 2020. In answer to a query regarding manual scavengers, the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry informed the Lok Sabha in February 2021 that 340 individuals had died while cleaning septic tanks and sewers in the previous five years. In addition, the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) said that 631 individuals perished in the nation while cleaning septic tanks and sewers in the previous 10 years, from 2010 to 2020. The goal of this research is to look at the dirty practice of manual scavenging in India, as well as the many measures that have been implemented to help manual scavengers. Manual scavenging still exists in India despite being illegal, demonstrating a dismal failure of the legal system and a violation of an individual’s fundamental rights. Manual scavenging being a caste-based employment, is subject to social prejudice and boycott. This study aims to critically examine the laws and schemes that affect the manual scavenging community and provide ideas for how to overcome them, as well as examine the implications of recent regulations on manual scavengers. This paper will also look at India’s bizarre manual scavenging practice. In addition, it will examine the role of society and government in India’s manual scavenging.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 2, Page 715 - 725


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