Within a month, unorganised workers in 50 villages in Bantwal and Mangalore taluks will likely be able to enrol for Social Benefit Schemes of all government departments, Assistant Labour Commissioner Venkatesh A. Shindihatti told The Hindu.

Dakshina Kannada was one of the five districts where the Workers' Facilitation Centres will be set up on pilot basis, under an agreement with the Government of Karnataka signed with GTZ, a German enterprise in 2008. The other districts are Bangalore, Bellary, Mysore, and Gulbarga.

Under the scheme, workers in beedi, construction, agarbathi-rolling, garment, agriculture sectors, and domestic workers would be able to enrol for social benefits of all government departments under one roof. These include the New Pension Scheme, widow pension, old age pension, disability pension, Sandhya Suraksha, Stree Shakti Groups, and the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana.

Accordingly, Mr. Shindihatti said 25 villages each in Bantwal and Mangalore taluks had been selected by the Department of Labour. These centres would function from the gram panchayats and would have one community facilitator each. The appointments to half of these posts were likely to be completed by the first week of September, after which around 10 centres would open in each taluk. The community facilitator would be tasked with carrying out a survey of unorganised workers in the local area, and registering eligible workers with the Labour Department. The facilitator would be responsible for ensuring that they get all the benefits due to them from various government departments. They would collect and forward applications to the department concerned after inspecting them.

The facilitator would have knowledge of all government social schemes spread across departments such as labour, education, social welfare, backward classes and minorities, tribal welfare, disability, and so on, he said.

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