ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Mechanisation without Decent Job Alternatives

Giving a rhetorical name to a scheme does not always ensure a change in social reality.

The trend of big announcements continued in the Union Budget 202324 speech as well where the finance minister introduced a new initiative that aims at 100% mechanisation of the cleaning of sewers and septic tanks in the country. Officially named the National Action for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE), this central sector scheme is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The budget speech of the finance minister stated that All cities and towns will be enabled for 100% mechanical desludging of septic tanks and sewers to transition from manhole to machine-hole mode. Further, the minister also put emphasis on the scientific management of dry and wet waste.

It needs to be acknowledged that this scheme has some positive sides, which include ensuring zero fatalities in sanitation work, no contact with human faecal matter, only skilled workers to perform this task, access to alternative livelihoods for sanitation workers, etc. Further, this scheme aims to identify and enumerate sewer and septic tank workers with an added focus on the informal and contractual workers engaged in what are described as hazardous cleaning operations.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 59

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.