Unorganised workers are not benefited from the rapid growth of globalisation and majority of them are completely in the dark of the various Government schemes launched for their welfare. In fact, the Government does not have any figure as to how many unorganised workers are there in the State.
In such, to combat all such problems and to provide improved accessibility to reliable and efficient Social Security, the Department of Labour in association with GIZ (German Development Co-operation), set up a Worker Facilitation Centers (WFCs) at Grama Panchayat and urban ward levels.
As a pilot project 10 Taluks from 5 Districts were identified under the 'Social Security Benefits for Unorganised Workers, Karnataka (SSPK)' in 2009. The districts are Mysore, Bellary, Bangalore - Urban and Rural, Gulbarga and Dakshin Kannada.
So far under the programme, 250 WFCs have been setup at 10 taluks of this district, comprising 89% (222 WFC's) at Grama Panchayaths and 11% (28 WFC) at Urban Wards. 2,34,005 (till Janurary) eligible beneficiaries have been identified under different social security schemes, and 91,277 applications have been submitted under various social security schemes, of which 59,498 applications have been approved.
The facilitators conduct house to house survey and identify the eligible unorganised beneficiaries under various social security schemes. They will be provided special training on various aspects by GIZ to deal with villagers. They ensure the beneficiaries receive benefits on time. The facilitators hold group discussions and educate unorganised workers about various issues.
“Initially we faced a lot of challenges. After gaining their confidence, holding discussions with them the work became easy. We invited some of the beneficiaries to the group discussion and made them to share their experience. Thereby we have gained knowledge of the effectiveness of the various Government schemes,” said facilitator Nagesh of Erappana Koppalu, Mysore Taluk.
“Thousands of unroganised workers have been benefited from this scheme. Financial assistance are provided for them in health, education, employment and even at death. Many of them are getting Rs 500 as pension while others loans for their wards education. Rs 1 lakh will be provided when a labourer dies while on duty and 19,000 for death due to natural causes,” said Harish Taluk Co-ordinator.
S Dinesh, State Co-odinator, Department of Labour, Project Management Unit said more than fifteen government schemes comes under the programme and there is a very good response.
“The project has become a boon for thousands of unroganised workers by providing direct link between the beneficiaries and the Department by eliminating the middlemen, says beneficiary Venkatesh of Yelwala.