High rate of exclusion of urban poor from social welfare schemes: Study

Garment workers are among the worst hit as 70.5% of the respondents do not have a BPL ration card, according to the study.

Garment workers are among the worst hit as 70.5% of the respondents do not have a BPL ration card, according to the study.   | Photo Credit: File Photo

‘Most of those excluded are sex workers, transgender persons, and people living with HIV’

A community-led baseline study on the ‘Extent of social inclusion and access to social welfare schemes and basic services for urban poor’, released here on Thursday, has found that 16% of the respondents did not have a voter identity card, 42% did not have a BPL ration card, 5% did not have an Aadhaar card, and 68.5% did not have a PAN card.

Most of those excluded are sex workers (36%), transgender persons (30.5%), and people living with HIV (22%). Social security schemes such as ‘Mythri’ for transgender persons, ‘Chethana’ financial assistance scheme for sex workers, and ‘Dhanasri’ scheme for persons living with HIV are denied to them on this ground, the study found.

No bank account

Moreover, as 65.9% or 480 out of the total 728 respondents spoken to did not have a bank account or PAN card, they were excluded from schemes such as Mathru Vandana and Mathrushree. With Ayushman Bharat and the State health scheme health cards linked to BPL ration cards, the community has been deprived of health benefits too in the absence of ration card.

The survey, released by the Department of Planning, Programme Monitoring and Statistics, was conducted by the Centre For Advocacy and Research.

In the category of ration card exclusion, transgender persons and garment workers were the worst hit as 86.1% and 70.5% of them, respectively, did not have a BPL ration card. Home-based workers (43.2%), sex workers (61.1%), and sanitation workers (42.2%) followed by domestic workers (43.6%) were also excluded in this category. The survey also looked at exclusion of these community members from health services, social security schemes, civic amenities, and social developmental opportunities.


The survey recommended the setting up of a single window to strengthen convergence and day-to-day connect between the government and the community.

The Karnataka Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board and the Karnataka State Unorganised Workers Social Security Board should be strengthened to enable them to register construction workers, domestic workers, tailors, and rag pickers, the survey recommended.

Demanding that steps should be taken to provide health services to persons living with HIV, sex workers, transgender persons, and vulnerable groups, the survey stated that the working conditions of women at construction sites and garment factories should be improved.

Inclusion of all in the Mathru Poorna midday meal, Mathru Vandana, and Mathrushree programmes and implementation of social development programmes for the welfare of sanitation workers are some of the other recommendations.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 2:20:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/high-rate-of-exclusion-of-urban-poor-from-social-welfare-schemes-study/article30352819.ece

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