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As a result, in many cases, the families of the dead don’t even get the compensation,” said NCSK chairperson Manhar Valjibhai Zala. As per NCSK data, the Rs 10 lakh compensation that is mandated under law in case of manual scavenging deaths, has been paid in only 70 of the 123 cases. Of the 28 states and seven union territories, the NCSK data has reported deaths from only 13 states and UTs. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal/File) The paucity of data is evident in the count of people involved in manual scavenging, an exercise being carried out by an inter-ministerial task force led by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The count is limited to only 170 districts in 18 states. Again, it excludes sewer cleaners entirely as well as any form of manual scavenging in urban areas. The counting process was to be carried out by central government teams holding survey camps in districts where those engaged in manual scavenging could come forward for a self-declaration process. Following this, the states were to confirm the numbers identified. While the exercise was to be over by June-end, officials confirmed that it has been significantly delayed as central government teams and state governments have so far acknowledged the existence of only 20,000 out of around 50,000 people identified. Data obtained by The Indian Express shows that only 109 of the 170 districts have filed their response, and only 62 have identified at least one manual scavenger.
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