- The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) was established in 1993 as per the provisions of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis Act, 1993, initially for the period upto March 31,1997. Later the validity of the Act was extended for five years and then again for two years i.e up to February 29, 2004.
- After that it was lapsed and the tenure of the commission was extended as a non-statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The tenure of the Commission was being extended from time to time through government resolutions. The present tenure is valid upto March 31, 2022.
- The major beneficiaries under the commission are the Safai Karamcharis and identified manual scavengers in the country. According to the government data, there were 58,098 manual scavengers identitied in the country as on December 31, 2021.
- Safai Karamchari means a person engaged in, or employed for any sanitation work and includes his/her dependents.
- The NCSK has been giving its recommendations to the Government regarding specific programmes for welfare of Safai Karamcharis, study and evaluate the existing welfare programmes for Safai Karamcharis, investigate cases of specific grievances etc.
- Also as per the provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, the NCSK has been assigned the work to monitor the implementation of the Act, tender advice for its effective implementation to the Centre and State Governments and enquire into complaints regarding contravention/non-implementation of the provisions of the Act.
Why in News?
- The union cabinet has approved the extension of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) for three years with effect from April 1, 2022.
- Though the Government has taken many steps for the upliftment of the Safai Karamcharis, the deprivation suffered by them in socio-economic and educational terms is still far from being eliminated.
- Although manual scavenging has been almost eradicated, sporadic instances do occur. Hazardous cleaning of sewer/septic tanks continues to be an area of the highest priority for the Government.
- Hence, the Government feels that there is a continued need to monitor the various interventions and initiatives of the Government for welfare of Safai Karamcharis and to achieve the goal of complete mechanization of sewer/septic tanks cleaning in the country and rehabilitation of manual scavengers.