: The Swabhiman scheme, an initiative of the district administration launched a year ago in the city Corporation limits, will now be extended to Koyilandy and Vadakara municipalities and Koduavlly and Kuttiyadi regions in the district.
The innovative scheme provides the services of skilled labourers within 12 hours of sending an SMS, e-mail or telephone call. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan had inaugurated scheme, a first of its kind in the State, in January, 2010.
Several District Collectors have since deputed government officials to Kozhikode to study the scheme so as to launch it in their respective districts. Kannur, Kasaragod and Wayanad districts are expected to implement the scheme shortly.
Officials said here on Wednesday that the new units will start functioning in Koyilandy, Vadakara, Kuttiyadi and Koduvally by February 15.
Services will be made available in plumbing, air-conditioner and refrigerator repair, gas stove repair, television, computer and electronic equipment repair and electrical works. These are in addition to skilled job such as carpentry and coconut plucking, officials said.
The district project coordinator has already invited applications from skilled workers to be included in the labour bank. They can send applications in a plain paper with copies of voter identity card, passport size photo and contact numbers to Project Coordinator, Swabhiman, Collectorate, Civil Station P.O. , Kozhikode - 20. They can also send applications online. The last date to submit applications is January 20.
A labour bank had already been formed in the city to solve labour shortage in trade sectors, carpentry, plumbing, and coconut plucking. Initially 140 skilled workers enrolled in the labour bank. District Collector P.B. Salim distributed special uniforms and badges to the Swabhiman members.
A call centre was also established at the Collectorate for registering the requirements of callers. Those who need the services can telephone or SMS to the following numbers: Ph: 0495 2372666 or SMS: 9446460600.
Officials said the project is being operated using highly developed software designed by the National Informatics Centre. The scheme has been well received not only for generating employment but also rendering efficient services.
The expansion of the scheme will successfully provide more employment opportunities to skilled workers in rural areas.
The call centre at the Civil Station receives calls on a regular basis. Enquiries received through SMS and the portal, swabhiman.gov.in, are on the rise. About 10 per cent of the total revenue earned by the labourers is collected by the administration for their insurance coverage and to meet the call centre expenses.