Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his official 7, Race Course Road residence in New Delhi on Monday, said he has been assured by the latter that the government would take steps against manual scavengers.
"I met the Prime Minister on the issue of manual scavenging. I had gone with a humble request that this custom, which is being practiced in our country, should be abolished. The Prime Minister has assured me that he will pay special attention on this," said Aamir.
Aamir also met Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik to highlight the concerns of manual scavengers engaged in cleaning human excreta.
"And he (Prime Minister) sent me to Mukulji and he assured me that his ministry is taking up this issue very seriously and working on it for the past several months. And not only his ministry, but the PMO will also pay special emphasis on this issue," he added.
Wasnik on his part said that the National Advisory Council and the Prime Minister had taken up this issue with seriousness, and added that all efforts will be made to deal with this problem at the earliest.
"The way he (Aamir) has raised this issue will help in raising awareness in the society. We are taking the issue very seriously. His attempts will help the movement against the issue of human scavengers. We will be able to deal with this problem at the earliest and make all efforts to rehabilitate the people involved in this," he said.
The veteran actor had recently drawn attention to the degrading practice in Satyamev Jayate, the television show he anchors, and showed how an estimated three lakh persons from the oppressed classes are still forced to clean night soil.
Manual scavenging refers to the removal of animal or human waste/excreta using brooms, tin plates and baskets from dry latrine and carrying it to disposal grounds some distance away.
Aamir's show raises one social issue in every episode and different aspects of problems like female foeticide, child sexual abuse and domestic violence have been discussed