Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge launched
✓Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge across 243 Cities to ensure that no life of any sewer or septic tank cleaner is ever lost again owing to the issue of ‘hazardous cleaning’.
✓The Challenge was launched on the occasion of World Toilet Day.
✓Aim: Preventing ‘hazardous cleaning’ of sewers and septic tanks and promoting their mechanized cleaning.
✓Representatives from 243 cities across the country took a pledge to mechanize all sewer and septic tank cleaning operations by 30th April 2021.
✓The initiative is in line with the core of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U)
✓The actual on-ground assessment of participating cities will be conducted in May 2021 by an independent agency and results of the same will be declared on 15 August 2021.
✓Cities will be awarded in three sub-categories – with population of more than 10 lakhs, 3-10 lakhs and upto 3 lakhs, with a total prize money of ₹52 crores to be given to winning cities across all categories.
✓The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act (2013) and various judgements of Supreme Court prohibit hazardous cleaning, i.e. manual entry into a septic tank or sewer without protective gear and observing operating procedures.