New Delhi: Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction over states not taking enough interest in eradicating manual scavenging, saying the inhuman practice continues unhindered despite laws calling for its abolition.
The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment also asked states and Union Territories to verify the socio-economic and caste census (SECC), 2011, to identify manual scavengers for their rehabilitation.
"Government had enacted Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 to eliminate the evils of insanitary latrines and manual scavenging.
"But the practice of manual scavenging still persists in various parts of the country and states are not taking enough interest to eradicate this inhuman practice. Also, we still don't have exact data on how many people are involved in this profession. States need to take up this issue in a much more serious manner," Gehlot said in a meeting of the State Channelizing Agencies (SCAs).
Gehlot on Monday reviewed the performances of SCAs of its Apex Corporations i.e. National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC), National Safai Karamcharies Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) and National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation.
The Minister emphasised the need for simplifying the lending procedures so that funds could be disbursed to the
beneficiaries in the shortest possible time.
He also asked these agencies to standardise their operations, adopt best practices, re-orient their strategies, adopt efficient mechanism for transfer of funds through online system so that parking of funds is avoided and ensure prompt delivery of services to the target group for their socio-economic development.
Gehlot also launched two new schemes of NSFDC - Reimbursement of Membership and Annual fee to SCAs for Membership of Credit Information Companies for SCAs, which will help them create credit history of the SC beneficiaries and another scheme 'National Award for Performance Excellence (NAPE) which will motivate SCAs to perform better and will also create a healthy competition.
Government is very keen to move towards a cashless society through the 'JAM Trinity' (Jan Dhan Account, Aadhaar Number and Mobile number), he said, adding SCAs should help the beneficiaries in getting enrolled for Aadhaar numbers.
"SCAs should computerize their accounts and ensure direct transfer of loans in the Aadhaar seeded bank accounts of the beneficiaries and also maintain and upload the database on their websites linked with the Apex Corporations.
He also stressed the need for wide publicity of the schemes of the ministry so that the target group could be made aware of the schemes and get motivated to avail the benefits of the schemes for their socio-economic uplift.