Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers
- As per survey reports received from States, there are 7,70,338 scavengers and their dependents in India. Taking into account manual scavengers numbering 4,27,870 already assisted under NSLRS and ineligible for assistance the number of Manual Scavengers yet to be rehabilitated is 3,42,468 as per State wise details given in appendix-I
- Objective of the scheme is to assist the remaining scavengers for rehabilitation, which are yet to be assisted, in a time bound manner by March 2009.Scavengers and their dependents, irrespective of their income, who are yet to be provided assistance for rehabilitation, under any scheme of Government of India/State Governments will be eligible for assistance. Definition of scavenger is as under:-
A "Scavenger" means one who is partially or wholly engaged in the obnoxious and inhuman occupation of manually removing night soil and filth. The dependent of Scavengers is one who is a member of their family or is dependent on them irrespective of the fact whether they are partially or wholly engaged in the said occupation. Each individual scavenger and his/her children who are of 18 years of age and above, who are not employed (other than scavengers) will be identified and rehabilitated".
- The identified scavengers will be provided training, loan, and subsidy. Credit will be provided by the banks, which will charge interest from the beneficiaries at the rates prescribed under the scheme. NSKFDC or any other identified agency at the apex level, will provide interest subsidy to the banks through its State Chanelising Agencies (SCAs) or any other identified agency at the State level, for the difference between the interest chargeable by bank and the interest to be charged from the beneficiaries under the scheme.
- Both, term loan (upto a maximum cost of Rs. 5 lakhs) and micro financing (upto a maximum of Rs. 25,000) will be admissible under the scheme. Micro financing will also be done through self help groups (SHGs) and reputed Non Governmental Organisations(NGOs)
- The rate of interest chargeable from the beneficiaries will be as follows:-
(a) For projects upto Rs. 25,000/- 4% per annum ( for women beneficiaries)
5% per annum
(b) For projects above Rs. 25,000/- 6% per annum
- Where the rate of interest chargeable by the banks on loans will be higher than the rates prescribed in the scheme, interest subsidy to the extent of the difference will be given to the banks and this will be administered by NSKFDC/ other agencies identified by the Ministry.
- Credit linked capital subsidy will be provided upfront to the beneficiaries in a scaled manner:
(a) For projects costing upto Rs. 25,000 @ 50% of the project cost. (b) For projects costing more than Rs. 25,000/-, @ 25% of the project cost, with a minimum of Rs. 12,500 and maximum of Rs. 20,000/-
- Beneficiaries will be allowed to avail second and subsequent loan from banks if required, without capital subsidy and interest subsidy and other grants under the scheme.
- NSKFDC or any other agency identified under the scheme, will undertake all activities under the scheme and will co-ordinate with the concerned agencies to ensure optimum benefits to the beneficiaries. NSKFDC or other identified agency will have freedom to meet admissible expenditure under the scheme out of their own funds, which will be reimbursable to them. NSKFDC or any other identified agency, will have option to provide loan to the target group at the rates prescribed in the scheme, out of their own funds and recover them. Such amounts, however, will not be reimbursable from Government. In such cases, they will be entitled to claim assistance for training, interest subsidy(if required), capital subsidy etc, as provided under the scheme.
- The scheme is proposed to be implemented at the national level through the NSKFDC or other identified agencies for this purpose. At the State level, the implementing agencies will be the state channelising agencies identified for the purpose, which may include government agencies and reputed non-governmental organisations. It is also provided to encourage involvement of reputed micro finance institutions and NGOs for micro financing schemes through the SHGs. For training of the beneficiaries, it is envisaged to involve reputed specialised training institutions, in addition to government institutions.
- The existing institutions under the Ministry such as the NSKFDC and its SCAs have the requisite experience to implement the proposed scheme. However, their limited infrastructure capacity would need to be enhanced. They would be expected to implement the scheme, in addition to their existing activities and would, therefore, need to be supported for building their capacity to cope up with the increased work and will need to devise innovative mechanisms to achieve the task assigned. Similarly, there would be a need to support other identified agencies involved at various levels. A facility fund of Rs. 5.00 crore is earmarked to provide financial support to the implementing agencies at various levels.
- In the course of implementation of the scheme, there would be a need to take timely decisions on several important aspects. To facilitate implementation and timely decisions on critical issues, a special mechanism is envisaged. A committee under the chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment shall be constituted with the following composition:- (i) Additional Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment - Member(ii) Joint Secretary and Financial Advisor, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment - Member (iii) Advisor concerned in the Planning Commission - Member (iv) Joint Secretary(Scheduled Caste Development) - Convenor.
- In every state annual targets of each bank will be fixed by State Level Bankers Committees (SLBC's) as per statewise scheme targets.
- The beneficiaries are free to select any viable income generating self employment projectGiven below is the indicative list of projects, which are usually selected by the beneficiaries which are sustainable and have a good potential of regular income.:-
Sl. No. Projects Indicative cost of the Project 1 Fruit & Vegetables Vendor & Meat Shop, Paan Shop, Watch Repairing Shop and Wet Grinder etc. Upto Rs.25,000 each 2. Barber Shop, Tailoring Shop, Flour Mill, Bicycle Hiring and Repairing and STD/PCO Booth etc. Rs.25,001 to Rs.50,000 each 3. Autorickshaw (Petrol), Automobile Repair Shop, PCO/Photocopier Booth, General Provision Store, Beauty Parlour and Music Store etc. Rs.50,001 to Rs.1,00,000 each 4. Transport , Denting & Painting of Vehicles and Domestic Gadgets, Laundry & Dry Cleaning Shop, Sanitary & Hardware Shop, Servicing & Repair of Domestic Electrical Appliances, Tent House, Band Party, Readymade Garments Shop, Agriculture and allied activities including Non-land based schemes like Tractor, Trolley, Poultry Farming Rs.1,00,001 to Rs.5,00,000 each
- Since the scavengers will be rehabilitated in non-traditional professions, they will require training to acquire new skills and entrepreneurship capabilities. This can be given by government agencies/institutes as well as by reputed specialised training agencies. Synergies with selected industries/business establishment would be encouraged for facilitating gainful employment of the trainees. The average training cost has been taken as Rs. 14,000 per beneficiary, which includes provision for training fee, kits and stipend to trainees.
- A comprehensive programme of publicity with a view to awareness generation at all levels will be undertaken so as to ensure that optimum benefit reaches to the beneficiaries in the shortest possible time.
- The progress of implementation will be monitored by NSKFDC and other apex level agencies, identified for the purpose. The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis may, in accordance with its terms of reference, review the implementation of programmes and schemes, social and economic rehabilitation of the manual scavengers. The scheme will be concurrently evaluated by an independent agency for which 1% of the total cost of the scheme (i.e. 7.35 crore) is earmarked under Monitoring and Concurrent Evaluation.
- Details of the requirement of funds are given at Appendix-II
- In order to bridge the gap between liberation and rehabilitation of manual scavengers, the scheme will be linked with the programme of conversion of dry latrines in co-ordination with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation(MoH&UPA) and municipal bodies at State/local levels. As various Ministries of Government of India and State Governments are implementing different developmental programmes, efforts will be made to converge the benefits with other existing programmes so as to give a meaningful package to the target group. The existing mechanism of Central Monitoring Committee (CMC) to monitor the implementation of the National Action Plan for Total Eradication of Manual Scavenging by 2007, under the chairpersonship of Secretary(MSJ&E) with inter-ministrial representation will be utilised for this purpose.