Why in News
In the Union Budget 2023, the Government of India allocated Rs 100 crores for the NAMASTE scheme.
• With this scheme, the GoI aims to mechanize septic tank cleaning and sewer cleaning in towns and
cities. The scheme aims to provide an alternate livelihood to sanitation workers.
• In addition, NAMASTE will strive to bring behavioral changes to them.
• The process of extending the Scheme to all the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of the country has been initiated.
What is the NAMASTE Scheme?
• It was launched in 2022 as a Central Sector Scheme.
• The scheme is being undertaken jointly by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MoSJE) and aims to eradicate unsafe sewer and septic
tank cleaning practices.
• Zero fatalities in sanitation work in India.
• All sanitation work is performed by skilled workers.
• No sanitation workers come in direct contact with human faecal matter.
• Sanitation workers are collectivised into Self Help Groups (SHGs) and are empowered to run sanitation enterprises.
• Strengthened supervisory and monitoring systems at National, State and Urban Local Body (ULB)
levels to ensure enforcement and monitoring of safe sanitation work.
• Increased awareness among sanitation services seekers (individuals and institutions) to seek
services from registered and skilled sanitation workers.
Key Features of the Scheme to be Implemented in all ULBs
• Identification: NAMASTE envisages identifying the Sewer/Septic Tank Workers (SSWs).
• Occupational Training and distribution of PPE Kits to SSWs.
• Assistance for Safety Devices to Sanitation Response Units (SRUs).
• Extending Health Insurance Scheme Benefits to identified SSWs and their families under the Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).
• Livelihood Assistance: The Action Plan will promote mechanization and enterprise development by
providing funding support and subsidy (capital +interest) to the sanitation workers, to procure sanitation related equipments.
• IEC (Information Education and Communication) Campaign: Massive campaigns would be undertaken jointly by the ULBs & NSKFDC (National Safai Karamcharis Finance & Development Corporation) to spread awareness about the interventions of NAMASTE.
How will NAMSTE be implemented?
• In phase 1, 500 cities are taken. GoI is planning on choosing AMRUT cities first. Also, the first target
will be cities whose population is more than one lakh.
• Ten cities from islands, hilly regions, and tourist destinations will be picked. Bringing changes in
tourist destinations in the sewerage sector is very difficult.
• This is because the carrying capacity of the tourist spots is high. For this reason, the numbers in the
tourism sector are very less.