Commission bats for sanitation workers’ rights, benefits
Kohima, Feb. 17 (EMN): The chairman of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis—under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment—Mahar Valjibhai Zala on Monday highlighted the schemes, provisions and entitlements available to sanitation workers.
A team of three from the commission, led by its chairman, in their address to media persons in Kohima, said that the safai karamcharis (sanitation workers/cleaners) in the state must be provided with housing, medical care for their families, good quality gears, changing rooms and bathrooms for men and women etc., adding that it is their fundamental right to avail those entitlements.
On understanding the workers’ ‘pathetic work condition and meagre income (INR 6000) with no amenities to support their families’, the chairman assured to uplift their present condition. He added that the commission was formed (statutory body) to look into matters concerning the workers’ welfare and make recommendations to the government.
Further, the commission has directed the authorities to provide minimum wages, leave benefits, safety equipment, housing facilities, and medical facilities etc., to all the workers.
Department and agencies concerned must provide separate changing rooms and bathrooms for men and women, education of their children, a medical check-up for the entire family, good quality gears, housing etc., under the NCSK Act, 1993, he added.
Zala also informed that officials of various departments have assured to look into the matter, wherein housing allotment under Pradhan Mantri Awaz Yojana (PMAY) will be provided to the workers soon, and also introduce insurance schemes.
On the issue of single-use plastic, the chairman said that it must be totally banned in the state, and further discouraged the people from using single-use plastics and cutleries during meetings, events and programmes.
The team, currently in the state, will be visiting places to view cleaning and sanitation and hold review meetings with various departments and top officials of the government.
Earlier, the team held a meeting with representatives of Safai Karamcharis Employees Welfare Association (EWA), wards, NGOs and all departments relating to safai karamcharis of the district.
The team will be touring the country to spread awareness about the policies and schemes.
Principal Secretary of Urban Development, Himato Zhimomi, who holds the additional charge of Municipal Affairs, assured to examine the requests made by the commission with departments concerned.
He also described the safai karamcharis as the ‘biggest section of the society’, who work without any appreciation and acknowledgement. “Clean cities are being kept so by safai karamcharis and their welfare is the utmost priority for our municipalities. Yet a lot more needs to be done,” Zhimoni wrote on Twitter.