Frontline workers have, during this pandemic, selflessly put their lives on the line. For over a year now, they have worked hard, let go of any and every notion of rest one needs, and worked odd hours after odd hours to make sure that people survive the brunt of this viral outbreak.
But the question arises, “who cares for the caretakers?”
The Odisha government, in the light of recent unfoldings, and expressing its care and concern towards frontline workers, launched the Odisha Garima scheme 2021.
About the Odisha Garima Scheme 2021
The Odisha Garima scheme has been launched to provide benefits to about 200,00 crore sanitation workers and their families by offering them a financial cover of ₹1 lakh.
Through the implementation of this scheme, the government aims to ensure the safety and dignity of the core sanitation workers who have worked so hard to protect people day in and out.
In order to implement the scheme smoothly, the government of Odisha has earmarked ₹50 crores initially as a part of the dedicated corpus fund. This scheme aims to institutionalise and regulate core sanitation services to provide social security and financial benefits to workers and their families.
Objectives of the Garima Scheme
- Institutionalising and regulating the core sanitation services.
- Providing service level benefits
- Providing social security benefits to core sanitation workers along with their families
- Financial benefits to manual scavengers and their families for their efforts
- Enhanced focus on the enforcement of statutory provisioning under various national and state legislations.
What are the benefits of the Odisha Garima scheme 2021 for sanitation workers?
The Odisha Garima scheme essentially aims to identify the core sanitation workers through statewide survey. It is essentially done by registering the core sanitation workers, mandates registration of sanitation services providers, ensures provision of necessary machines and appropriate PPEs to ensure safe working conditions for the workers.
The benefits of the Odisha Garima scheme
- Skill improvement and training of workers
- Counselling support for new skills
- Financial support for alternative livelihood
- Health and life insurance
- Disability support
- Periodic health check-ups
- Housing support
- Educational support
- Periodic health checkups for workers
- Introduction of a special category of wages for core sanitation work
- Introduction of Risk and hardship allowance
- Financial support in form of a House grant
- Purchase of two-wheelers to extent of 90% of the cost borne by the state government.
- Retirement benefits to core sanitation workers
- Illness allowance
- Post-service benefits
Summing it up
With this scheme in place, the Odisha government is ensuring that no worker gets left behind. The pandemic has struck practically every country in a bad way, and it is these hygiene workers who have kept us afloat by putting their lives at risk so that ours is safe.
These real-life heroes deserve all the facilities and benefits they can, so that not only can they make ends meet but also live a dignified life, full of respect, admiration. More importantly, these workers deserve care and protection above all else.