Unaware of how the e- SHRAM portal works, labourers ask for monthly monetary benefits from it.
Workers in the unorganized sector have little knowledge about the e-SHRAM portal and most believe they will get a monthly income if they are registered with the portal. The portal aims at providing unorganized workers with benefits such as pension from the age of 60 and health insurance.
The data from Karnataka State Unorganised Workers Social Security Board (KSUWSSB) shows, 305761 from Bangalore (urban) and 145418 from Bangalore (rural) have already registered on the e-SHRAM portal. Most of the workers are unaware about the benefits and the use of the website.
Krishna, a resident is currently working at a construction site to build a temple at Nayandahalli. He says, “I have a shram card but I have got no monetary benefits or money from the government yet.”
An official from the KSUWSSB said, “If the workers register with this portal they will get pension of Rs 3000 once they are 60. They will also get certain health benefits like insurance of Rs 2 lakh under the Pradhan Mantri Surakhsha Bima yojna.“
He added, “As per the Supreme Court’s direction, collecting the database of the unorganised workers is the primary purpose of the portal. The minimum age category to apply for the E-shram card is 16 to 59 years.” While the e-SHRAM portal ensures the benefits of government schemes to the unorganised sector, there is no data for the migrant workers as of now.
Akhilesh Kumar, a welder from UP who came to Bangalore six months ago said, “I have made a SHRAM card back in UP and received Rs 500 while registering and the gram panchayat authority told us we will receive Rs 500 monthly but didn’t get any money after that.”
The official from KSUWSCB said, “We are planning to start the e-SHRAM Abhiyan in order to create awareness about the schemes and the portal among people and open registration camps to help more workers register, through street plays, auto prachars and social media.”
Devesh Tripathy, a partner at the Labour Law Desk firm, Uttar Pradesh said, “as of now there are schemes provided by the government for the unorganised sector such as the e-SHRAM and the Shram Kalyan Yojna. They provide social security benefits to the workers.”
He added, “The feedback that I have got so far is the scheme is beneficial but there is not much awareness and the access for the e-SHRAM has to be made easier and so that the workers can register easily. Benefits like loans for construction of homes and pensions after the age of 60 can be availed from the SHRAM card.”
Akhilesh said, “I get paid on a per-day basis, I work 20 days in a month and get Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 a month out of which 5000 goes on rent. I get no benefits from the government, I have a ration card back at home and cannot use it here in other states.”
Another migrant worker Hariom Vishwakarma who has been staying in Bangalore for eight years said, “I have been staying here for a long time and stayed in a room with five other people, I never got any health or other benefits from the government yet.”
However, the official from the Unorganised Workers Social Security Board said, “The Food and Civil Supply Department and the Ministry of Labour are planning to implement the one nation one card policy, in which people can use their ration card at any place in the country and they are planning to create an awareness program around this in a few months.”
He also said, “Workers don’t understand and keep asking for the benefits of the e- SHRAM but we are trying to get the exact data and the unorganised workers registered first, then the schemes can be formulated. There are no such monetary schemes at the moment.”