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Welfare board for domestic workers fails to address their issues

In last three years,the board has met only six times.

Written by Partha Sarathi Biswas | Pune | Published: November 24, 2013 1:46:37 am

The Special Domestic Workers Welfare Board constituted by the state government has held only six meeting in the last three years. The board,formed in 2010,was formed to implement welfare schemes like identity cards,life and medical insurance for unorganised domestic workers.

While official notification to form the board was issued by the industries,energy and labour department in 2010,the first meeting of the 24-member board took place a year later in November 2011.

The second meeting took place in December 2011 and the third in April 2012. An emergency meeting was convened in May 2012,while the fifth meeting took place in September 2012. The sixth and the last meeting took place on August 2013.

There are over two lakh registered domestic workers in the state and their issues such as payment of insurance amount,identity cards are being taken up by activists. They point out that the labour welfare department has failed issue identity cards. The minutes of the latest baord meeting show that it was decided to outsource the work of making and distributing identity cards.

The notification also talks about publishing an annual report detailing the schemes undertaken by the board. An inventory of moveable and immovable goods held by the board has also to be accounted for. No annual report has been issued ever since the board was formed.

Activist Kiran Moghe said,“The fact that the only six meetings took place is a sign that the government is not serious about its intent.” On issuance of identity cards,she said the decision to outsource the work was taken after much agitation. “The board was formed in 2010 and yet it took three years for them to take up the issue of staff shortage. Being part of the system,they should have known the working of the labour department from the start,” she said.

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