The National Action for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE) project aims to protect sanitation employees. The Scheme has been authorized with a budget of Rs. 360 crore for the four-year period 2022-23-2025-26. The NAMASTE Scheme has been given almost Rs 100 crore in the Union Budget 2023-2024. This post will teach you about the NAMASTE Scheme, an important topic for the IAS exam.
What is NAMASTE Scheme?
- National Action for Mechanized Sanitation Ecosystem is referred to as NAMASTE.
- Its goal is to provide sanitation employees in metropolitan India with a sustainable means of living while also ensuring their safety and dignity.
- involved ministries: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) together launched the program.
- NAMASTE’s implementing agency is the National Safai Karamchari Financial Development Corporation (NSKFDC).
- Coverage: This phase of NAMASTE will include 500 cities that converge with AMRUT cities. It will be put into effect from 2022 to 2026.
Which Objectives Does the NAMASTE Scheme Serve?
- Sanitation work in India has never resulted in a fatality.
- Skilled staff carry out all sanitary tasks.
- No personnel in the sanitation industry come into close touch with human waste.
- Sanitation employees are organized into SHGs and given the authority to operate sanitation businesses.
- There are other means of support for all sewer and septic tank sanitation workers (SSWs).
Features of the NAMASTE Scheme
The following are the key features of the Namaste Scheme, which will be implemented in all ULBs:
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- NAMASTE intends to identify Sewer/Septic Tank Workers (SSWs) who are engaged in hazardous cleaning activities. The survey is carried out by City NAMASTE Managers and certified by the relevant ULBs.
- SSWs get occupational training and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits.
- SRUs (Sanitation Response Units) receive assistance with safety gear.
- Extending Insurance Scheme Benefits – AB-PMJAY (Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana) would provide a safety net for designated SSWs and their families.
- Livelihood Assistance – The action plan will encourage mechanization and the growth of small businesses. The National Safai Karamchari Financial Development Corporation (NSKFDC) will provide funding and a subsidy (capital + interest) to sanitation workers, SHGs of SSWs, and Private Sanitation Service Organizations (PSSOs) in order to purchase sanitation-related equipment and vehicles for total mechanization of cleaning operations.
- Campaigns for Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) – To raise awareness through coordinated initiatives by the ULBs and the NSKFDC.
What is Manual Scavenging?
- The removal of human excreta from unsanitary latrines is referred to as manual scavenging under Section 2(1)(g) of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (PEMSR) Act, 2013.
- It applies to cleaning sewers, septic tanks, and railroad lines in addition to dry latrines.
- The Supreme Court ordered that the families of all people who have died in sewerage work (manholes, septic tanks) since 1993 be identified and that for each such death, a compensation of Rs 10 lakh should be given to the family of the deceased in a landmark decision (2014) on the prohibition of manual scavenging.