New Delhi: As many as 110 manual scavengers lost their lives in 2019 while cleaning sewers and septic tanks across the country, with highest 21 such deaths reported in Uttar Pradesh, the government informed Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
In a written reply in the Upper House, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale said that 68 such deaths were reported across India in 2018, as per a report by the National Commission of Safai Karamcharis.
"The total deaths in 2017 were 93," the reply reads. Goa reported no such death in the last three years.
According to Athawale's reply, in the last three years, reported deaths of manual scavengers from Uttar Pradesh were in double digits -- highest among all the states and union territories.
These figures were 18 in 2017, 11 in 2018 and 21 in 2019 in Uttar Pradesh.
On the contrary, Delhi saw a constant reduction in deaths on this count -- 13 in 2017, 10 in 2018, and eight in 2019.
Bihar -- which reported six deaths each in 2017 and 2018 -- reported no deaths of scavengers and sewer cleaners in 2019 along with Telangana, Kerala, Chandigarh, and Chhattisgarh.