MOHUA to launch awareness campaign on Safemitra Suraksha Challenge;


Why in the news?

As part of the ‘World toilet Day’ celebrations, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is launching a week long awareness campaign on Safari Mitra Suraksha Challenge (SSC) from November 14th to 20th November 2021 to run up to the ‘Swachh Amrit Diwas.


  •  To prevent 'hazardous cleaning' of sewers and septic tanks and promote their mechanized cleaning.

Key highlights:

  • A total of 246 cities are participating in SSC which is being conducted across the country. The state capitals, urban local bodies and smart cities will be eligible to participate.
  • It is one of the government efforts to combat manual scavenging.
  • Cities will be awarded in three sub-categories .
  1. with a population of more than 10 lakhs.
  2. 3-10 lakhs and upto 3 lakhs. 
  • MoHUA has also designed standard uniform designs for different categories of sanitation workers across urban India. 
  1. These include Swachhata Commandos (sanitation workers engaged in underground cleaning of sewers and septic tanks), 
  2. Safaimitras (engaged in road sweeping and waste collection) 
  3.  Swachhata Supervisors/ Operators.  

Key Activities under the Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge (SSC)

  • 1. Creating citizen awareness against 'hazardous cleaning' of septic tanks, 
  • 2. Infrastructure creation for mechanized cleaning and capacity building of the workforce, 
  • 3. A dedicated helpline number(14420) to register complaints and   provide real-time solutions on sewer overflow,
  •  4. The actual on-ground assessment of participating cities.Based on this assessment, cities will be awarded, 
  • 5. Organizing Loan Melas.

Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge:

  • It was launched on November 19, 2020 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • The challenge aims to ensure that no life of septic tank or sewer cleaner is lost during cleaning.
  • The Government of India has legislated The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Rehabilitation Act, 2013 to protect manual sewer cleaners.

Manual Scavenging:

  • Manual scavenging is the practice of cleaning or handling human excreta from sewers. 
  • They are the most disadvantaged and poorest communities in India.
  • The Supreme Court of India, in 2014, made it mandatory to provide Rs 10 lakhs as compensation to the families of those who have died during sewerage works.
  •  ‘The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ as a part of the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry’s National Action Plan.
  • The Central Government is currently demolishing insanitary latrines. 
  • The insanitary latrines are being converted into sanitary latrines. Also, it provides a rehabilitation package to the manual scavengers. 

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