Caste census data put their number at 356 in A.P., Telangana, while Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry shows a total of 45,822 people clean the night soil.
The bulk of manual scavengers who are engaged in cleaning night soil in rural pockets of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are found missing in the recently released Socio Economic Caste Census-2011 data.
In an irony of sorts, the SECC has enumerated just 356 manual scavengers in the two States that as per census-2011, have 2.28 lakh insanitary latrines out of which 10,357 are serviced manually.
In contrast, records with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (as quoted by a research document prepared by the Lok Sabha Secretariat Research unit in 2013), reveal that a total of 45,822 people who clean the night soil in AP and Telangana are beneficiaries of various welfare schemes that are applicable for manual scavengers. The figures were drawn from survey done during the implementation of the National Scheme for Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers from 1992 to 2005 during which 7.70 lakh such workers and their dependents were identified............Read more
Source: The Hindu