Hundreds of rag-pickers gathered at the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike on Thursday, where they were given identity cards by the civic body.

A similar exercise was taken up in August last year when identity cards were given to around 200 of them.

Commissioner M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda said that rag-pickers could avail themselves of health benefits under the Vajpayee Arogyasri scheme with the identity cards. He said they would be distributed to the all rag-pickers in the city in phases.

He said as they are exposed to health hazards, “under the Arogyasri scheme, rag-pickers can avail benefits up to Rs. 50,000 each a year”. Nalini Shekar from the Alliance of Waste Pickers said that according to estimates, there are around 15,000 “green workers” in the city, who pick up dry waste from the roads.

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