What’s in the news?
- To eliminate hazardous cleaning, stop deaths of sewer and septic tank workers and ensure their safety and dignity, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) have jointly formulated a Scheme namely National Action for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE).
- The scheme is to be implemented in all 4800+ Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of the country, during the three years upto 2025-26 with an outlay of Rs. 349.70 crore.
Interventions of NAMASTE Component:
- Profiling of SSWs: NAMASTE envisages profiling of the Sewer/Septic Tank Workers (SSWs). List of SSWs would be obtained from the concerned ULBs and thereafter detailed profiling of the SSWs would be undertaken through profiling camps.
- Occupational Safety Training and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Kits to SSWs.
- Assistance for Safety Devices to Sanitation Response Units (SRUs) for hazardous cleaning operations.
- Extending Health Insurance Scheme Benefits: For providing a safety net to identified SSWs and their families, they will be covered under the Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY). The premium for AB-PMJAY for those identified Manual scavengers and SSWs families who are not covered earlier shall be borne under NAMASTE.
- Livelihood Assistance: The Action Plan will promote mechanization and enterprise development. National Safai Karamcharis Finance & Development Corporation (NSKFDC) will provide funding support and capital subsidy to the Manual Scavengers, sanitation workers and their dependents to procure sanitation related equipment and vehicles under Swachhata Udyami Yojana (SUY).
- In addition to this, providing capital subsidy to identified manual scavengers and their dependents for self employment project will be continued.
- Identified manual scavengers and their dependents will be provided skill development training for a period upto two years with monthly stipend of Rs.3000/-.
- IEC Campaign: Massive campaigns would be undertaken jointly by the ULBs & NSKFDC to spread awareness about the interventions of NAMASTE. Electronic and print media and hoardings at prominent locations shall be used for the campaign in local language and English/Hindi. Maximum use of social media during the publicity would be ensured.