Maharashtra, Gujarat lag behind in compensation for sewer deaths

News: According to data from the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK), of the 926 sewer deaths, families of 172 victims are yet to receive compensation. Gujarat and Maharashtra lag behind the most in compensation for sewer deaths.


Manual scavenging: It is the practice of manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of, or handling human excreta.

Indian Government efforts to end Manual Scavenging:

  • Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013
    • It seeks to eliminate insanitary latrines and prohibit employment as manual scavengers. It also prohibits hazardous manual cleaning of sewer and septic tanks.
    • It made the states responsible for identifying and rehabilitating manual scavengers by providing them training, giving assistance, loans and even houses.
  • Self-Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS)
    • It aims to rehabilitate manual scavengers and their dependents in alternative occupations, in a time bound manner.
  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: It has fourfold aim:
    • To eliminate open defecation
    • To eradicate manual scavenging
    • To bring in modern and scientific municipal solid waste management
    • Behavioural change regarding healthy sanitation practices

Additional Information

National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK)

  • It acts as a Non-Statutory body of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment whose tenure is extended from time to time through Government Resolutions.


  • Recommend government regarding specific programmes for welfare of Safai Karamcharis
  • Monitor the implementation of Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.