Fifty-five-year-old Imtiaz Ahmed hails from a remote village in Nalgonda district and came to the State capital in search of a livelihood seven years ago. While he makes a sparse living as a pushcart vendor, his wife works as a domestic help. Likewise, Saraswati, 40, works as a domestic help while her husband is a mason.

All that Imtiaz and Saraswati live for, is to provide basic education to their children and equip them with the skills required to lead a decent life.

They are just two families among millions who come under the purview of the Labour Department. On Thursday, Labour Minister D. Nagender flagged off a dozen vehicles carrying officials on a month-long drive to enrol workers as members of the Andhra Pradesh Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board and the A.P. Labour Welfare Board, on payment of a nominal fee.

The Minister said thus far, about 25 lakh people had been enrolled as members in the said Boards and that the department had set a target for itself to cover 25 lakh more people in the month-long drive.

About 75 mobile teams were moving out across the State covering construction companies, shops and establishments, factories and motor transport sector, with focus on the unorganised sector.

The objective, Mr. Nagender said, was to build a database and issue them identity cards to help them get assistance under various welfare schemes implemented by the State and Centre through the Welfare Boards. Replying to a question, he said A.P. was already known to be pro-active in taking special care of migrant labourers, especially those working in the brick kilns, mostly in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts.

Principal Secretary, Labour, J. C. Sharma and Commissioner, Labour, B. Ramanjaneyulu said the drive was a step that the government was taking to ensure that the fruits of welfare schemes reached the beneficiaries. After enrolling 25 lakh workers in the month, we will chalk out plans to add another 25 lakh persons by the end of the current financial year, they added.