New Delhi: Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has said that the Bill prohibiting manual scavenging can be passed in the Budget Session of Parliament as there is consensus on this issue among all political parties.
Addressing a seminar on sanitation here yesterday, Ramesh said, Parliament has to exhibit its resolve to eliminate this despicable practice and added that the 1993 Act has failed to achieve its desired goal.
"The Bill titled Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation is pending in Parliament,' he said.
Ramesh further said that as per the Census 2011, there are about 26 lakh dry latrines exist in India and after the passage of the bill, all such toilets will be closed.
Ramesh also called upon women self help groups to find out alternate employment for women who carry night soil and he underlined that this practice is still prevalent in states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
He said Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan should achieve the target of open-defecation free country in the next ten years.
Ramesh said this should become a national obsession rather than remaining only a governmental programme.