The provision of the smart card facility provided under the Ambedkar Sahaya Hasta Scheme has still not reached 35,000 people.
In 2017, the Karnataka government had started an initiative called Ambedkar Sahaya Hasta Scheme, to support the unorganized sector which was around the Unorganized Workers Social Security Act, 2008, which includes people like domestic workers, rag-pickers, goldsmiths, construction workers and so on.
The scheme includes the smart card facility which identifies them as a part of the unorganized sector and gives them further job opportunities. Another benefit the scheme provides is the Ambedkar pension and provident fund scheme where after 60 years, they get 15,000 rupees per month.
Devi Amma, a resident of Swatantra Palya says, “I am a poor woman. I work in houses. I don’t know what to do. Only one boy works, the other one sits at home.”
The card applies for 11 unorganized category workers like maids, rag pickers and so on. In Karnataka, 71,420 applicants had applied for the scheme. But only 41,000 smart cards have been given to the beneficiaries. The Karmika Kendra had given the printing job to Keonics but the department is taking time.
The Joint Labour commissioner says, “We had given the responsibility to KEONICS, and the remaining cards will be given out shortly.”
He also mentioned that the funds received from the government are inadequate for carrying out these schemes properly.
Labour expert, Bhavya Taneja says, “The government should invest in this sector and should conduct awareness programs. They should be conducted near their houses and that would be really helpful.”
The labour department has also said that there might be a possibility of a new scheme released by the Centre for the unorganized categories.