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National Action for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE)

  • Published
    19th Aug, 2022
Context

Namaste is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) as a joint initiative of the MoSJE and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

About

National Action for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE):

  • National Action for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE) is an initiative to ensure the safety of sanitation workers.
  • NAMASTE is a Central Sector Scheme
  • It is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
  • NAMASTE envisages the safety and dignity of sanitation workers in urban India by creating an enabling ecosystem that recognizes sanitation workers as one of the key contributors to the operations and maintenance of sanitation infrastructure.

Objectives of NAMASTE:

NAMASTE aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Zero fatalities in sanitation work in India
  • Skilled workers perform all sanitation work
  • No sanitation workers come in direct contact with human fecal matter
  • Sanitation workers are collectivized into SHGs and are empowered to run sanitation enterprises
  • All Sewer and Septic tank  sanitation workers (SSWs) have access to alternative livelihoods
  • Strengthened supervisory and monitoring systems at national, state, and ULB levels to ensure enforcement and monitoring of safe sanitation work
  • Increased awareness amongst sanitation services seekers (individuals and institutions) to seek services from registered and skilled sanitation workers

Implementation:

Five hundred cities (converging with AMRUT cities) will be taken up under this phase of NAMASTE. The categories of cities that will be eligible are given below:

  • All Cities and Towns with a population of over one lakh with notified Municipalities, including Cantonment Boards (Civilian areas),
  • All Capital Cities/Towns of States/ Union Territories (UTs), not covered in (I),
  • Ten Cities from hill states, islands, and tourist destinations (not more than one from each State).

Features of the Scheme: 

  • Under the scheme, capital subsidies of up to ?5 lakh on sanitation machinery costing up to ?15 lakh will be provided so that workers will be able to own sanitation machines themselves.
  • Interest subsidies on loans will also be provided where interest rates will be capped between 4-6% for the beneficiaries with the government taking care of the rest of the interest.
  • In addition, the scheme also provides for training the workers in the use of these machines, during which time a stipend of up to ?3,000 per month will be provided. 
  • The scheme will also provide for sanitation workers to train for and go into any of the approved lists of alternative occupations in sectors like agriculture, services, electronics assembling, handicrafts and so on.

Benefits of NAMASTE to workers

  • Enumeration: NAMASTE envisages identifying the Sewer/Septic Tank Workers (SSWs) with a focus on the informal workforce who are engaged in hazardous cleaning operations.
  • The database will enable MoSJE, National Safai Karamchari Finance Development Corporation (NSKFDC), and MoHUA (including DAY-NULM, SBM 2.0, and AMRUT) to reach to the SSWs and their families and provide them necessary support for collectivization, skill building and linking with social and financial benefits.
  • The Survey would be conducted by the City NAMASTE Managers and validated by the concerned ULB.  The survey would be held in digital mode in a pre-approved format.
  • Extending Insurance Scheme Benefits: For providing a safety net to identified SSWs and their families, they will be covered under the Ayushyaman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).
  • The premium for AB-PMJAY for those identified SSWs families who are not covered earlier shall be borne under NAMASTE.
  • Livelihood Assistance: The Action Plan will promote mechanization and enterprise development.
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