Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

National Commission for Safai Karamcharis gets 3-year extension


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NCSK

Mains level: Manual scavenging in India

The Union Cabinet has approved a three-year extension of the tenure of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) that was set to end on March 31.

About National Commission for Safai Karamcharis

  • The commission was set up in 1993 under the NCSK Act 1993 for a period of three years, which has been extended since then.
  • The NCSK Act is however ceased to have effect from February 29, 2004.
  • After that, the tenure of the NCSK has been extended as a non-statutory body from time to time through resolutions.

Why was NCSK set up?

  • The commission helps in coming up with programmes for the welfare of sanitation workers.
  • It also monitors the implementation of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.
  • Till December 31, 2021, 58,098 manual scavengers had been identified.

Need for eliminating Manual Scavenging

  • Undignified life (all the 6 Fundamental Rights are compromised, directly or indirectly).
  • It directly perpetuates castism.
  • Modern, Secular India has no place for such “professions”.
  • It no way suits India’s rising global profile – ‘super power’ aspirations.
  • Women are mostly disprivileged since most manual scavengers are dalit women.

What else needs to be done?

  • Though the government has taken many steps for the upliftment of the safai karamcharis, the deprivation suffered by them in socio-economic and educational terms is still far from being eliminated.
  • Although manual scavenging has been almost eradicated, sporadic instances of their deaths do occur.

Way forward

  • There is a continued need to monitor the various interventions and initiatives of the government for welfare of safai Karamcharis.
  • The govt must strive to achieve the goal of complete mechanization of sewer/septic tanks cleaning in the country and rehabilitation of manual scavengers.

Try this question from CSP 2016:

Q.’Rashtriya Garima Abhiyaan’ is a national campaign to:

(a) rehabilitate the homeless and destitute persons and provide them with suitable sources of livelihood

(b) release the sex workers from their practice and provide them with alternative sources of livelihood

(c) eradicate the practice of manual scavenging and rehabilitate the manual scavengers

(d) release the bonded labourers from their bondage and rehabilitate them


Post your answers here:
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Also try this question from our AWE initiative:

Manual scavenging has been called as a worst surviving symbol of untouchability. Critically discuss the measures taken by Government to eradicate this practice? (250 W)


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