No ID, No Access – How Social Scheme Camps Empower Waste-Workers in Bengaluru


In these two episodes of Active Bengaluru, RJ Usha interviews Geetha, a social worker who works through the NGO Hasiru Dala to help waste workers in Karnataka access government schemes. Geetha also collaborates with other NGOs and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to make the process of applying for these cards simpler.

A significant number of the waste pickers and workers who are employed in the city possess no government identification papers or cards, their access hindered by a lack of understanding of the process, misconceptions about the payments to be made for such papers, and a general difficulty in following information because of low literacy levels. These often migrant workers face difficulties in opening new bank accounts and in purchasing subsidised food from ration shops, making even everyday basic living stressful. “These workers find it hard to trust many organisations which may come to their help,” Geetha explains. “Some of them worry about multiple payments and of being cheated.” To ease the fears, some of these workers approached Hasiru Dala, an organisation they explicitly trust, for help. “We conducted camps for ration card as well as Aadhar card application, helping close to 50 workers gain these important IDs,” says Geetha.

More such efforts are being planned in the future.

Listen in for more…

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