More than 1,50,000 workers in urban Bengaluru have not received their ‘One-Time Covid Relief’ fund of Rs. 2,000 from the Karnataka Government.
Bengaluru: According to Amar. A, research assistant at the Karnataka State Unorganized Workers Social Security Board KSUWSSB, only around 12 percent of the 1,74,583 applicants from urban Bengaluru have received their funds.
The unorganized workers were included in the ‘One Time Covid Relief’ package on June 4, 2021. The scheme entitles unorganized workers who hold BPL cards to a sum of Rs. 2,000. Marfad Biswas, a waste picker, said, “It has been almost two months since we have applied for the scheme. None of us have received the fund till now. If we receive the fund, then we will feed our families.” Amar said that the board will transfer the money amounting to Rs. 2000 directly into the applicant’s account only after the verification of data through the Seva Sindhu portal.
The scheme includes 11 categories of unorganized workers. These categories are Hamalis, Domestic Workers, Rag Pickers, Tailors, Mechanics, Washer men, Barbers, Gold Smiths, Iron Smiths, Potters, and Kiln Workers. Workers faced difficulty in applying, as it required the signature of the employers and Aadhar linked with mobile.
Shujayathullah E, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) President, Bangalore unit said, “As per this RTI, it says that the number of people who have been rejected is 80,770. So many people have been rejected, and they have not specified the grounds for rejection. So, the government should think of all these things when they’re coming out with a scheme. It should be a proper scheme.” Shujayathullah added that these workers faced starvation, homelessness, and unemployment during the lockdown.
The scheme came as a relief fund for the workers to recover from the covid second wave hit, but only around 2 lakh workers have received the fund in Karnataka. Government has to transfer the money at a faster rate to make sure workers over come financial crises.