The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that about 200 families were engaged in the practice of cleaning dry toilets in different villages of district Budaun, Uttar Pradesh, despite the fact that in 2011, the then district magistrate had won Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in public administration for his campaign ‘Dalia Jalao’ for eliminating manual scavenging and the practice of dry or insanitary latrines.
The commission has observed that the contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of the dalits. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the district magistrate calling for a report in the matter within two weeks.
Reportedly, the villages in the district were short of wet toilets forcing people to defecate in the open. Women were working as manual scavengers in Ramzanpur and adjoining Mirzapur Midhauli in the district. Giving details of the problems being faced by some women manual scavengers, it was reported that most of such women were from the dalit community and being widows had no alternative source of income.