SHILLONG, Dec 30 - National Commission for Safai Karmacharis (NCSK) has asked Meghalaya Government to delay payment of salaries of �big officers� if need be, but the Safai Karmacharis should get their meagre salaries on time.
Member NCSK, Jagadish Hiremani in-charge Meghalaya-Assam, raised the plight of the manual scavengers with State Government officials here recently after a meeting with Safai Karmacharis (cleaners-sweepers).
He said that the workers get a wage of just Rs 3,000 monthly. �I was informed that even this salary is not disbursed on time by the State Government. This is not right,� Hiremani said.
The Member raised the issue before Chief Secretary, YS Tsering during his meeting today and said that he would recommend again to the Government that the wages are increased and the payments made on time.
�I don�t know the reason for the delay in disbursing the salaries. First this salary should be at par with the National minimum monthly wage of Rs 10,500 and the Safai Karmacharis should get their payment on time, even if it requires delaying the salaries of big officers,� Hiremani said.
In Shillong city there are over 400 scavengers working under Shillong Municipal Board, out of which 98 are permanent staff, while the rest are working under contract.�
The Member said that he was visiting the State to create awareness about the Central Government schemes made available for such workers and that includes providing health care, housing and education.
Hiremani said that he would also recommend to the State Government to ask schools, both Government and private, to reserve five per cent of their seats for the children of Safai Karmacharis.
�There must be better facilities for the dependants of such workers in terms of health, education and housing. So we would recommend that five per cent seats are made available for the children of Safai Karmacharis,� he said.
On the housing issue, the Member said, several Central Government schemes as well as under the National Safai Karmacharis Finance and Development Corporation are available and the State Government should ensure that these workers build their own houses under these schemes.
Moreover, under Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, manual scavenging is banned and such workers must be provided one time settlement of Rs 40,000 and ensure they are able to set up businesses of their own by providing loan.
�Under the scheme those who have given up manual scavenging are entitled to avail loan from Rs 1-50 lakh to set up their own business,� Hiremani informed.