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Nagpur: The Centre on Wednesday claimed that there were no deaths recorded due to manual scavenging in India, however, 161 people lost their lives due to it in the last three years.

While responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar said that 118 such deaths were reported in 2019, 19 deaths in 2020 and 24 deaths in 2021. Kumar further added that there were no reports of death due to manual scavenging.

“There is no report of deaths due to manual scavenging. However, 161 persons have died due to accidents while undertaking hazardous cleaning of sewer and septic tanks during the last three years,” the union minister said.

As per reports, maximum deaths were in Tamil Nadu (27), followed by Uttar Pradesh (26), he added. The query was asked by BJP MP Mahesh Podda.

Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale while responding to another question said that a total of 971 people were killed while cleaning sewers and septic tanks since 1993.

Manual scavenging has been banned under the Prohibition of Employment As Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013

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