New Delhi: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) member, Kanimozhi, on Thursday (July 11), claimed in the Lok Sabha that the Indian Railways still employs manual scavengers and said that "it is a shame for the nation". 

Participating in the debate on demand for grants for railways, she said the government wants to hide this by appointing them through contractors and that it has done nothing for them.

"It is a shame for the nation that Indian Railways still employs manual scavengers," she said.

Kanimozhi said all sign boards on railway stations are in Hindi and demanded they should be in regional languages as well.

"You (ruling party) are here to serve the people. Names, symbols and languages should be in regional languages," she said, adding that the common man should not struggle to understand them.

While this government has named programmes in Hindi, Kanimozhi asked how a villager in her constituency in Tamil Nadu would understand it.

Speaking to MyNation, BJP leader and advocate, Ashwini Upadhyay dismissed her claims and said, "All her allegations are baseless."

"We (BJP) are aware of the manual scavenging. In fact, Thawar Chand Gehlot had earlier mentioned about this issue in the Lok Sabha. We were the ones who stopped it (manual scavenging) in 2014. Instead of thanking us, she is blaming us with false accusations," he added.

Lashing out against Kanimozhi, the BJP leader said, "See, the DMK leaders cannot come up with real issues with respect to what is happening in India. Her statement about the government's programmes named in Hindi is also baseless. According to the Official Secrets Act, 1923, Hindi is India's official language. It is a basic necessity to know the official language."

However, the BJP leader claimed that if the people of her (Kanimozhi) constituency do not know Hindi, then we have to think about providing alternative language for better understanding.