BENGALURU: There are a number of pourakarmikas in the city who have still not received their Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) cards from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike because of which they are unable to claim any medical facilities they are entitled to.
Last week, Rangappa, a 55-year-old pourakarmika from ward 40, passed away due to liver cancer as he received the card late and the family could not afford to pay for his treatment. “We did receive the card at a later stage. The hospitals denied treating my father as the treatment amount exceeded the ESI card limit, as told by the doctors,” said Rangaswamy (Rangappa’s son).
Srinivas, another pourakarmika, said most of them often fall sick due to the dangerous gas they inhale while they collect garbage. Thus, it is necessary for them to have an ESI card in case of emergencies. “We want them to provide us with proper working conditions,” said Nirmala M, president of BBMP Pourakarmika union, All India central council of trade unions.
D Randeep, special commissioner (Solid Waste management and health), said he is aware of this issue. “We have prepared a few schedules and given to the engineers in our division. It will have the pourakarmika’s ID number, name and other details. This coming week I will have a detailed review and see how many more cards have to be distributed,” he added.