Manual scavenging an embarrassment for India, says Jaya Bachchan


New Delhi: Actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan on Tuesday said it is a source of embarrassment for all the citizens of India that manual scavenging still exists in the country.

“It is a pity that today we are still talking about deaths due to manual scavenging. I cannot understand why we have not yet been able to provide them with protective gears and why we have not done away with manual scavengers,” Bachchan, the Samajwadi Party leader, said while speaking in the Rajya Sabha.
She rued the practice is still going on even as we talk about going to the moon and Mars.

“We are talking of progress, we are talking about going to the moon and Mars and everywhere and we cannot provide the protective gears. It’s an embarrassment for the country and for all of us sitting here,” she added.
The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned to August the hearing on a plea filed seeking directions to gauge the number of persons employed either directly or indirectly as manual scavengers and the actual number of deaths since its prohibition in 1993.

A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian observed that “it cannot compel people to file their affidavit (replies) on the issue of manual scavenging, and said it will proceed and draw an adverse inference against them”. (ANI)