Union Social Justice Minister Ramdas Athawale on Thursday in a written response in the Rajya Sabha stated that no manual scavenging deaths had taken place in the past 5 years.
This came as he responded to a question by the Congress MPs Mallikarjun Kharge and L. Hanumanthaiah had asked for the number of people engaged in manual scavenging who had died in the last five years.
Activist Safai Karamchari Andolan convenor Bezwada Wilson slammed the Centre for it's statement and stated that such a statement was 'cruel and inhuman'. He further added that 472 deaths had taken place due to manual scavenging in the past 5 years.
Ironically, responding to a similar question last year, in 2020, the Government acknowledged of the fact that deaths had taken place and reported among those involved in manual scavenging.