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Seva Sindhu goes for a toss, app makes applying for Covid relief difficult

Yet another is the one-time password (OTP) feature.

Published: 03rd July 2021 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2021 11:37 AM   |  A+A-

iPhone, Mobile apps, smart phone

For representational purpose. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Instead of being a facility to easily avail of Covid relief announced by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to those affected financially by the pandemic and lockdown, the Seva Sindhu portal has turned out to be a major hurdle.The process to apply for relief is riddled with bureaucratic and technical errors, said volunteers helping the beneficiaries. To begin with, many beneficiaries don’t own smartphones, and even those who have the devices, don’t know how to use them. Majority of the beneficiaries are workers from unorganised sectors who have been impacted by the pandemic the most.

“An online video to guide people how to apply does not mention that a photo needs to be submitted. Registration centres ask for two sets of documents including Aadhaar card, BPL card, bank passbook and employee certificate signed by a gazetted officer. A lot of poor people do not have BPL and Aadhaar cards, and even if they do, they arrive with only one set of documents, only to be turned away. This wastes an entire day for them, and they lose a day’s wages,” said Sindhu Malavalli, Aam Aadmi Party youth wing vice-president, who has helped 70 people apply through Seva Sindhu. The shutting down of photocopy shops during the lockdown proved to be another hurdle.

‘Many people not aware of scheme’

Yet another is the one-time password (OTP) feature. Many beneficiaries have phone numbers that are not linked to their Aadhaar cards as they would have changed their number over the years. Those who do get the OTP do not know how to read them. By the time they take the help of someone else, the OTP time limit would have expired. If two people from a family apply through the same BPL card, one of their applications is rejected, Sindhu said.

Mohammad Fahad, national coordinator, National Student Union of India (NSUI), who is helping auto and cab drivers file applications, said the server is slow and once the application is submitted, it logs out in 30 seconds, requiring them to enter the details all over again.“After one application is submitted, the portal takes 20-30 minutes to accept the next one. Drivers who take autos or cabs on rent from others are not eligible as they are not licensed owners,” he said.

Salman Vaseem, a member of NGO Helping Hands, said that at times, when he enters the pin code, the system says it is incorrect. If entered again, it is accepted. “Of 15 people who approached me, only five applications have been accepted. It is better if the government directs citizens to government centres to have someone fill out the applications,” he said. Also a large number of people are not aware of the scheme.

Announcements should be made through speakers fit on autos, Sindhu said.



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