At last,Lok Sabha passes the Manual Scavenging Prohibition bill
- Dear All,It is yet another milestone towards the struggle for social justice and humanisation of society in India that the Prohibition of employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill,2012 has been passed by the Lok Sabha tonight. It will get passed by the Rajya Sabha too in a matter of days. Congratulations and many thanks to our law makers. However, it is unfortunate that the Lok Sabha members thought it fit not to have elaborate discussions on the subject, as they may consider this as a 'minor' bill compared to Land Acquisition Bill, which is considered to be a major one for 'obvious' reasons.The Bill of course, has few grey areas and has a major omission in the Preamble itself. and there is need for a campaign to strengthen the same through amendments in future. More importantly, the rules have to be objectively framed without delay and to ensure through sustained collective national struggle that the Governments of the respective states and the centre live up to the spirit and objectives of the bill once it becomes an act.With about 73% of rural India defecating in the open with a substantial number of households without access to water and underground sewage systems in urban India becoming 'one way ticket to environmental hell ', it will be an uphill task to ensure eliminate manual scavenging, ensure dignity to people and improve sanitation.While Governments have to invest huge resources, the middle class has to shed its irresponsibility, insensitivity and indifference that it has gained on account of its addiction to crass consumerism and nurse back its soul and conscience. So, will the blot of manual scavenging, as the Prime Minister called it, be erased from the face of Bharath.--To read all the issues of paadam, Pl visit our web www.paadam.in &blog www.paadam-pm.blogspot.com and leave your comments.RegardsA.Narayanan (98403 93581)EditorPaadam, Monthly Magazine in Tamil for Development Politics2/628, Rapid Nagar,GerugambakkamChennai - 602 101.