Focus: GS II- Government policies and Interventions
Why in News?
Union Budget 2023-2024 has allocated nearly Rs 100 crore for the National Action for Mechanized Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE) and the government is looking to enable 100% mechanical desludging of septic tanks and sewers in all cities and towns.
- The process of extending the Scheme to all the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of the country has been initiated.
- Namaste is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) as a joint initiative of the MoSJE and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
- NAMASTE envisages safety and dignity of sanitation workers in urban India by creating an enabling ecosystem that recognizes sanitation workers as one of the key contributors in operations and maintenance of sanitation infrastructure thereby providing sustainable livelihood and enhancing their occupational safety through capacity building and improved access to safety gear and machines.
- Ensure safety and dignity of sanitation workers in urban India and providing sustainable livelihood and enhancing their occupational safety through capacity building and improved access to safety gear and machines.
- NAMASTE would also aim at providing access to alternative livelihoods support and entitlements to reduce the vulnerabilities of sanitation workers and enable them to access self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities and break the intergenerationality in sanitation work.
- In addition, NAMASTE would bring about a behavior change amongst citizens towards sanitation workers and enhance demand for safe sanitation services.
Five hundred cities (converging with AMRUT cities) will be taken up under this phase of NAMASTE. The list of cities will be notified at an appropriate time. The category of cities that will be eligible are given below:
- All Cities and Towns with a population of over one lakh with notified Municipalities, including Cantonment Boards (Civilian areas),
- All Capital Cities/Towns of States/ Union Territories (UTs), not covered in 4(i),
- Ten Cities from hill states, islands and tourist destinations (not more than one from each State).
NAMASTE aims to achieve the following outcomes:
- Zero fatalities in sanitation work in India
- All sanitation work is performed by skilled workers
- No sanitation workers come in direct contact with human faecal matter
- Sanitation workers are collectivized into SHGs and are empowered to run sanitation enterprises
- All Sewer and Septic tank sanitation workers (SSWs) have access to alternative livelihoods
- Strengthened supervisory and monitoring systems at national, state and ULB levels to ensure enforcement and monitoring of safe sanitation work
- Increased awareness amongst sanitation services seekers (individuals and institutions) to seek services from registered and skilled sanitation workers