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  • DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS:500 cities in India declared as ‘Safai Mitra Surakshit Shehar

500 cities in India declared as ‘Safai Mitra Surakshit Shehar

Tags: National Government Schemes

In a major boost towards putting an end to the manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks and to improve the safety of all sanitation workers, 500 cities in India have declared themselves as ‘Safai Mitra Surakshit Sehar’. 

This is a major achievement of the NAMASTE Scheme launched by the government of India to improve the working condition of the Safai karamchari.

Many sanitation workers die from inhaling toxic gasses while cleaning the sewers and septic tanks in India. In July this year, Union minister for social justice and empowerment Virendra Kumar said in the Lok Sabha that 347 such deaths had occurred in the past five years.

The NAMASTE scheme aims to reduce the fatality rate to zero.

National Action for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE)

Namaste is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment as a joint initiative with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Duration and outlay of the scheme 

The Scheme has been approved with an outlay of Rs. 360 crore for four years from 2022-23 to 2025-26.

Aim of the scheme 

NAMASTE envisages safety and dignity of sanitation workers in urban India by creating an enabling ecosystem that recognizes sanitation workers as one of the key contributors in operations and maintenance of sanitation infrastructure.

NAMASTE aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Zero fatalities in sanitation work in India
  • All sanitation work is performed by skilled workers
  • No sanitation workers come in direct contact with human faecal matter
  • Sanitation workers are collectivized into SHGs and are empowered to run sanitation enterprises
  • All Sewer and Septic tank  sanitation workers (SSWs) have access to alternative livelihoods

How many cities to be covered 

Initially the NAMASTE scheme is being implemented in the 500 cities which have been identified under the AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Transformation) mission under the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

It will cover all the eligible Indian cities by March 2024.

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