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Odisha scheme for core sanitation workers

Aim to eliminate inhuman and perilous sanitation practices and to improve socio-economic conditions
The scheme aims to identify and register core sanitation workers, mandates registration of sanitation service providers, ensures provision of necessary machines and appropriate PPE to ensure safe working conditions.

Subhashish Mohanty   |   Bhubaneswar   |   Published 12.09.20, 04:25 AM

The Odisha government on Friday launched the Garima (dignity) scheme, which is meant to ensure safety and dignity of core sanitation workers.

The scheme aims to eliminate inhuman and perilous sanitation practices and to improve socio-economic conditions of core sanitation workers. Nearly 20,000 core sanitation workers and their families, a population of around 1 lakh, will benefit from the scheme.

Under the scheme, the government aims to introduce a special category of wages for core sanitation work, introduction of risk and hardship allowance, financial assistance to the families in the event of accident or injury, financial support in the form of house grant and purchase of two wheelers to the extent of 90 per cent of the cost. In addition to this, access to EPF, retirement benefits, post-service benefits and illness allowance will provide further financial security to the core sanitation workers and their families.

The Odisha government will also provide welfare benefits like health and life insurance, disability support, periodic health check-ups, housing, educational support, mobility support and mobile support.

Launching the scheme, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said, “In spite of the nation making several strides in various sectors competing with the best in the world, these underprivileged people were made to render this invaluable service to the society for generations, deprived of safety, dignity and a decent livelihood, apart from suffering social stigma and exclusion. Our conscience can never be calmed if we don’t take steps to correct this injustice. My government has therefore decided to launch a scheme called ‘Garima’, a scheme to ensure safety and dignity of core sanitation workers.”

Minister for housing and urban development Pratap Jena said the scheme is the first of its kind by any state in India to provide a comprehensive package — institutionalising and regulating the core sanitation services, providing service level benefits, social security and financial benefits to core sanitation workers and their families.

The scheme aims to identify and register core sanitation workers, mandates registration of sanitation service providers, ensures provision of necessary machines and appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) to ensure safe working conditions. All core sanitation workers will receive skilling and training to improve their skills.

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“The animal had entered into cropland and had attacked two persons. They were hospitalised and currently out of danger. The villagers later had beaten it to death,” said Mahakalpda forest range officer, Sahaji Charan Biswal. The villagers were about to take away the animal’s meat when the forest personnel arrived, he said.



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