Manual scavenging is the practice of cleaning human excreta from dry latrines. This practices is illegal according to the Manual Scavengers and the Construction of Dry Latrines Prohibition Act which was passed in the year 1993. But many areas in India still practice manual scavenging and the provision of dry latrines. It is well known that all manual scavengers are Dalits.
READ is working towards eradicating of the Manual Scavenging practice. Creating alternative livelihood, improving health, providing education, creating access to credit for the families to start small business are few of our work. We also conduct several awareness drives on the abolition of manual scavenging and services available for supporting those who are involved in manual scavenging.
We have developed a commission consisting of more than 80 members from different areas of expertise including lawyers, journalists, politicians and social workers. The aim of the commission is to abolish the practice of manual scavenging. The commission met together and consulted and presented a data on manual scavenging from municipalities across Erode District, and drafted recommendation and sent to the Government of Tamil Nadu.
For the Manual Scavengers Development READ initiated VIDIYAL Society.
Through our efforts, we have
- Helped 25 manual scavengers find alternative employment
- Organised four health camps and four health drive in public health centres
- Supported 214 families to access government schemes for rehabilitating former manual scavengers
- Provided a scholarship to pursue higher education for 68 children whose parents are manual scavengers