This network of women helps slum-dwellers access government schemes
By Express News Service | Published: 25th October 2017 03:22 AM |
BENGALURU: Sahaya Single Window (SSW), a community platform facilitated by a city-based NGO — Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), over the past two years, has helped around 3,000 women in Bengaluru slums get access to schemes like Integrated Child Development Scheme, pension and subsidy scheme for home loans. They also help in providing financial assistance to sex workers.
Advocate Prabhanand Hegde, a member of CFAR, at a press meet on Tuesday, said, “We have helped 2,947 women including 450 Mahila Arogya Samithi members, 335 domestic workers, 134 garment workers, 350 self-help group members, 550 construction workers, 185 pourakarmikas, 201 migrant women, 158 street vendors and 584 senior citizens.”
In order to strengthen their engagement with the Department of Food and Civil Supplies, SSW helped 750 women become a part of the vigilance committees constituted at fair price shops and manage them.
Vigilance committees ensure good quality of food grains and smooth functioning of fair price shops. “Slum dwellers don’t only file complaints with the committee but also inform the department about the misappropriation of food grains through written complaints and toll-free lines,” Hegde said.
SSW has also formed self help groups under the National Urban Livelihood Mission and helped them to open bank accounts. With the support of the labour department they have organised enrollment camps for construction workers to obtain labour cards.
“With the help of the Directorate of Social Security & Pension and Department of Revenue, the Pension Adalats in Ramakrishna Seva Nagar, Ullalu Upanagara and Buddha Nagar received 117 applications and 3,742 people were able to get pension,” he said.
The Department of Revenue has made BPL ration card compulsory for any pension scheme. “Women who don’t have BPL ration card find it difficult to apply for pension. The department has also cancelled the pension benefits of those whose children have become majors without verifying the living condition of the pension beneficiary, particularly senior citizens who depend on pension for medication,” he said.