Cabinet extends tenure of National Commission for Safai Karamcharis
New Delhi, Mar. 21 : The Union Cabinet today extended the tenure of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) for a further period of three years beyond 1.4.2013 to 31.3.2016, with the existing terms.
The Cabinet said that the continuation of the Commission for three more years will help in fulfilling the desired objectives of the welfare and development of the target group as there is a continued need to monitor the various interventions and initiatives of the Government for the welfare of Safai Karamcharis in general, and to address the problem of manual scavenging, in particular.
An amount of Rs. 11.50 crore would be required for meeting the expenditure for the extension of the tenure of the Commission.
A statutory National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) was constituted for the first time in August, 1994, according to provisions under Section 3 of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis Act, 1993.
This commission continued till February, 2004, when the relevant act expired. Thereafter, the tenure of the commission has been extended from time to time, as a non-statutory body, the last such extension being upto 31.3.2013.
The commission functions among other things for the upliftment of safai karamcharis, evaluation of the implementation of measures taken for the welfare of safai karamcharis, making of suitable recommendations to the Central Government in this regard, and to investigate grievances relating to implementation of schemes, laws etc. for the purpose.
Though the government has taken steps for upliftment of safai karamcharis, the deprivation suffered by them in socio-economic and educational terms is still quite far from being eliminated. Further, eradication of the practice of manual scavenging is an area of the highest priority for the government.
The Scheme of Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS) is being revised to rehabilitate the remaining manual scavengers and their dependents in alternative occupations. An independent agency is needed to monitor (i) rehabilitation work as reported by state governments, and (ii) whether the beneficiaries provided loan and subsidy for alternative occupations have successfully taken up their new occupation on a sustainable basis.