Safai Mitra Safety Challenge Campaign

Safai Mitra Safety Challenge Campaign


  • A week-long ‘Swachh Amrit Divas’ awareness campaign has been launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs as part of the World Toilet Day (November 19) celebrations.
  • In recognition of the role and efforts of States, Cities, ULBs and Cantonment Boards in Swachh Survekshan 2021 and for garbage free star rating certification, ‘Swachh Amrit Divas’ award ceremony will be organized on November 20, 2021.

‘World Toilet Day’

  • In the year 2013, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated 19 November as World Toilet Day. It is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners.
  • It aims to end the negative perception among people regarding sanitation as silence on the issue of toilets and sanitation can have fatal consequences.
  • The theme of the year 2021 is related to Evaluating Toilets.

About Safai Mitra Safety Challenge Campaign:

  • A total of 246 cities are participating in the ‘Safai Mitra Security Challenge’ which is being organized across the country. State capitals, urban local bodies and smart cities will be eligible to participate in this campaign.
  • Cities will be awarded in three sub-categories (population above 10 lakh, 3-10 lakh and up to 3 lakh). The total prize money has been fixed at Rs 52 crore.
  • It is one of the government’s efforts to tackle the practice of manual scavenging.

Safai Mitra Safety Challenge:

  • Safai Mitra Safety Challenge (SSC) was launched on November 19, 2020, on the occasion of World Toilet Day.
  • The aim of the Safai Mitra Suraksha Challenge (SSC) is to encourage cities to mechanize their sewer and septic tank cleaning tasks.
  • Challenge for all was launched by the government in April 2021 to mechanize sewer-cleaning for all states.
  • Along with this, if a person needs to enter the sewer line in case of unavoidable emergency, then he should be provided with proper equipment / material and oxygen cylinder etc.

Initiatives taken:

  • Several initiatives like loan fair have been started under SSC campaign. Loan fairs are being organized across the country under SSC supported by National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, MoHUA.
  • Its objective is to help Safai Mitras to get loan under Swachhta Udyami Yojana (SUY) for purchase of tank cleaning machines/equipment for mechanized cleaning of sewer/septic tanks.
  • Skill development training of Safai Mitras has also been organized in 115 cities through NSKFDC in collaboration with Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Call centers and helpline numbers have been made operational in 345 cities to register complaints regarding safe cleaning and hazardous cleaning of septic tanks/sewers.• 31 States/UTs have established Responsible Sanitation Authority (RSA) and Sanitation Response Units (SRU) are present in 210 cities of these States/UTs.
  • All 246 participating cities have already banned single-use plastic (SUP).

Manual Scavenging:

  • Manual Scavenging has been defined as “the removal of human excreta from public roads and dry latrines, cleaning of septic tanks, drains and sewers”.
  • The manual scavenging practice is linked to the caste system in India, where only the so-called lower castes are expected to do the job.
  • Officially, the number of manual scavengers declined to 42,303 in 2018 from 7,70,338 in 2008. In the year 2018, the survey of manual scavengers was conducted by NSKFDC.

Related Initiatives:

The Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (Amendment) Bill, 2020:

  • It prohibits the construction or maintenance of insanitary latrines and provides for an end to the dangerous practice of manual scavenging or manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks by any person.

Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013:

  • The Act seeks to strengthen the prohibition of manual scavenging in all forms and ensure rehabilitation of manual scavengers.

Prevention of Atrocities Act:

  • It describes specific offenses against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Safai Mitra Safety Challenge:

  • The Commission is functioning as a non-statutory body of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment whose tenure is extended from time to time through Government Resolutions.

Swachh Bharat Mission:

  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a national campaign launched by the government on October 2, 2014 to make the streets, roads of the country clean and tidy and to build social infrastructure.

Download yojna ias daily current affairs 18 November 2021

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