The Cabinet had cleared the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012. The bill proposes stiff penalties against the dehumanizing practice of manual scavenging. The bill also proposes a rehabilitation package for scavengers. Agencies or families employing persons for cleaning of toilets would face jail of one year for first violation and two years for a repeat offence.
The bill separately proposes penal provisions and penalties to curb outdated ways of sewer cleaning with workers descending the deep septic tanks without protective gear.
Authorities would face jail term of two years and fine of Rs two lakh for engaging workers in hazardous cleaning of sewers and term of five years for a repeat offence.
The offence under this section would be cognizable and non-bailable. The government proposes to provide a transition period of nine months from the date of enactment to let agencies and families move to the system free of manual scavenging.
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