NAMASTE: National Action for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem

  • 18 Aug 2022

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E) is preparing to undertake a nationwide survey to enumerate all people engaged in hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.

  • The enumeration exercise is part of the Union government’s National Action Plan for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE).
  • It will streamline the process of rehabilitating sanitation workers and eventually merge with and replace the Self-Employment Scheme for the Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS), which was started in 2007.


  • National Action for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (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) that envisages safety and dignity of sanitation workers.
  • Outlay & Period of the Scheme: The scheme comes with an outlay of Rs. 360 crore for four years from 2022-23 to 2025-26.
  • Implementing Agency: National Safai Karamchari Financial Development Corporation (NSKFDC) would be implementing agency for NAMASTE.

Aim of the Scheme

  • NAMASTE aims to achieve the following outcomes:
  • 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 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


  • In the first phase, five hundred cities (converging with AMRUT cities) will be taken up under NAMASTE.
  • The category of cities that will be eligible are:
    • 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)
    • Ten Cities from hill states, islands and tourist destinations (not more than one from each State).


  • NAMASTE envisages identifying the Sewer/Septic Tank Workers (SSWs) with a focus on informal workforce who are engaged in hazardous cleaning operations.
  • The database will enable MoSJE, 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.

Assistance under the Scheme

Extending Insurance Scheme Benefits

  • Identified SSWs and their families 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.
  • Funding: National Safai Karamchari Financial Development Corporation (NSKFDC) will provide funding support and subsidy (capital +interest) to the sanitation workers, SHGs of SSWs and private sanitation service organizations (PSSOs) to procure sanitation related equipment and vehicles under SUY for total mechanization of cleaning operations.
  • Livelihood Choices: Identified SSWs and their dependants will be given counseling on available livelihood choices and an opportunity to acquire alternative skills, if they so desire. Depending on their personal preference, a SSW may choose to continue working in the sanitation sector, thereby becoming eligible for receiving capacity building training. Alternatively, the worker may choose to explore an alternative livelihood option or an entrepreneurial venture. In case the workers decide to adopt an alternate livelihood of their choice, skilling and EDP support will be provided to these workers. The workers may start a new livelihood project as an individual or as a group interested in same option.

Saturation with Social Security Schemes’ Benefits

  • The identified sanitation workers and their family members will be extended benefits of all the social security schemes being implemented by various departments in the area.

Governing Structure

The scheme will be governed by National NAMASTE Management Unit (NNMU) at the Centre as the apex body and in states there will be State Namaste Management Units (SNMUs). Further, at in cities City NAMASTE Monitoring Units (CNMUs) will carry out the implementation and other activities.

National NAMASTE Management Unit (NNMU)

  • Apex Body: At the apex of the structure will be the National NAMASTE Monitoring Unit (NNMU) under Managing Director, NSKFDC, which will report to concerned Division head in the MoSJE, Government of India.
  • Coordinating Body: A Technical Support Unit (TSU) consisting of team of IT Professional, Experts of implementation of similar programmes, SHG expert, IEC expert, Banking expert, etc., will be established in the NNMU to support the implementation of NAMASTE and facilitate coordination between MoSJE and MoHUA.

State Namaste Management Unit (SNMU)

  • Head - State Namaste Director: The State Govt. will decide a suitable officer to be designated as State Namaste Director to head State Namaste Management Unit (SNMU).
  • He will be assisted by: State NAMASTE Manager - to be deployed under the Scheme as per requirement.

City NAMASTE Monitoring Unit (CNMU)

  • Head- NAMASTE Nodal Officer: At the City level, City NAMASTE Monitoring Unit (CNMU) shall consist of NAMASTE nodal officer of the city to be designated by the concerned ULB
  • He will be assisted by: City NAMASTE Manager.