Only one percent of construction workers know of welfare funds

March 11th, 2008 - 6:03 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) The Delhi Construction Workers Welfare Fund has funds to the tune of Rs.1.2 billion for the benefit of labourers, but hardly any of it is being used. This is because only one percent of the city’s construction workers are registered with the welfare board. Sanjay Kumar of Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) said that the welfare funds for the construction workers serves no purpose because it doesn’t benefit the people who actually need them.

“What’s the point of such huge amounts of welfare funds if it doesn’t help the workers? Just one percent construction workers are registered with the Delhi Construction Workers Welfare Board. All construction workers should be registered with the board,” Kumar told IANS at a meet here.

The Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996, created the Welfare Board, a Worker Registration process and a Cess Fund that would free workers from dependence upon individual employers and links them directly to the Board for social security.

In Delhi, the Act that was implemented in 2002, created the board, constituting over Rs.1.2 billion, but registration remains poor. Of the estimated 600,000-800,000 workers here, only 6,000 are registered.

“It is crucial that workers know that such a welfare board actually exists for them. A nominal fee of below Rs.300 per year will ensure that the workers get insured against accidents, get maternity benefits and scholarships for their children.

“But since it’s not properly advertised, workers don’t avail of it,” said Anjali Alexander of Mobile Cr

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