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India Vows To Eradicate Manual Scavenging

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The Indian government on Monday said it was committed to eradicating manual scavenging as it has laid increasing emphasis on mechanical cleaning and preventing human entry into sewer and septic tanks through use of modern technologies.

This is contained in a statement issued by its bureau after a national Workshop Cum Exhibition on Sustainable Sanitation organised by the Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs.

According to Hardeep Puri, Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs, the ministry has consistently made efforts to devise efficient systems, processes and technologies for mechanical cleaning of sewer and septic tanks.

The national body of manual scavengers said at least one worker died while cleaning sewerage or septic tanks every five days, since the beginning of 2017, while another 1,850 people died in last decade while cleaning sewers.

However, activists believe that the real death rates were probably much higher as they were under-counted.

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