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e-Shram to be Fused with One Nation One Ration Card Scheme

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The Ministry of Labour and Employment’s, e-Shram portal, responsible for registering in the unorganized sector helping them access social security benefits, will be fused with One Nation One Ration Card scheme, says Bhupender Yadav, Minister for Labour and Employment.

Speaking at the IE THINC Migration webinar on migration and the promise of e-Shram, he conveyed that the main issue lies in ensuring the location of the worker is not a hindrance in accessing social security benefits. He said that the portal will dynamically share relevant data with the state government.

However, Divya Varma, Program Manager, Center for Migration and Labor Solutions, Aajeevika Bureau, after Yadav’s address, pointed out that it is unknown how different the e-Shram will be compared to its predecessors.

“The Unorganized Workers Social Security Board was initiated in 2008. The Unorganized Worker Identification Number was initiated in 2015. And, all these schemes and cards and platforms sought the same thing…enumerate informal and migrant workers. But nothing really came in the name of social protection for workers through such drives,” points Varma.

Ashif Shaikh, founder and CEO, Jan Sahas says “e-Shram system tries to create a social registry of unorganized sector workers. Registration is the first step, after that how to reduce vulnerability through security is very important. The role of industry is important and their participation needs to be increased”

Additionally, she indicated that it is not backed by statutory legislation.

Further, she stressed on the digital divide and inadequate information on its benefits.

Other panelists concentrated on the need for employers to participate in the system.

Sanjay Awasthi, India Head of Office, International Organization for Migration says, “private sector is the largest employer of migrant workers, and their involvement would go a long way”.

Govindraj Ethiraj, journalist, and founder of IndiaSpend, also spoke of the possibility of linking the electoral database with e-Shram to ensure electoral representation. “Why not introduce voting as well? From a technology standpoint, there’s nothing that stops us”.

Ashif Shaikh, founder and CEO, Jan Sahas says “e-Shram system tries to create a social registry of unorganized sector workers. Registration is the first step, after that how to reduce vulnerability through security is very important. The role of industry is important and their participation needs to be increased”.

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