Arvind Kejriwal felicitated 50 manual scavengers who were imparted vocational training. (File)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today rued the existence of manual scavenging even 70 years after India's Independence, underscoring his government's resolve to eliminate the practice.
"Sad that even after 70 years of Independence, there are certain practices like manual scavenging being done as people are so poor and helpless," he said after felicitating the first batch of 50 manual scavengers who were imparted vocational training so that they could pursue other means of livelihood.
The Skill Development Programme, launched in August for manual scavengers in Shahdara, aims to provide alternative means of livelihood and help them live with honour and dignity, according to an official statement.
The 50 manual scavengers were given a three-month training in housekeeping, during which they received a stipend of Rs 1,000 a month with other facilities and assured jobs in the housekeeping sector with minimum wages.
"The training was very helpful. I congratulate those who got the training so that they can start a new life," Mr Kejriwal said, adding that the move is small, but has great potential "as it was a pilot project and will be implemented in other districts".
Minister of Social Welfare Rajendra Pal Gautam said Delhi is perhaps the first state to have a State Monitoring Committee, Vigilance Committee and Survey Committee to ensure proper implementation of the project with respect to the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act.