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Maharashtra to stop manual scavenging in Pandharpur

The Maharashtra government today said manual scavenging in the temple town of Pandharpur in Solapur district would be stopped. The Legislative Assembly was informed of this by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. 

Pandharpur is the only place in the state where conservancy workers are traditionally forced to carry human excreta on their heads to the pits. Chavan gave the assurance after some members raised the issue of conservancy workers from Pandharpur undertaking a protest fast at the Azad Maidan here.  

Prithiviraj Chavan
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan outside the Vidhan Bhavan. File Pic

The issue has gained limelight after it figured in the TV show 'Satyameva Jayate' hosted by Aamir Khan. 

Leader of Opposition Eknath Khadse said the practice continues despite a ban. Jitendra Awhad (NCP) and Ganpatrao Deshmukh (PWP) alleged the government was ignoring the plight of Pandharpur workers.

A rehabilitation plan would be prepared for conservancy workers, who would also get houses, Chavan said. The members said conservancy workers in Pandharpur are overworked where over 10 lakh devotees throng the place for Ashadhi Ekadashi pilgrimage during monsoon.

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