4 years later, construction worker awaits aid under government scheme: The Tribune India


Tribune press service

Karam Prakash

Patiala, April 16

A 60-year-old construction worker registered in Nabha town, Patiala district, has been waiting for Rs 31,000 financial assistance for his daughter’s marriage since 2018. Hansraj Singh, who is not well, had asked for help. assistance under a government program, Shugan.

The Tribune investigation reveals that Hansraj is another victim of official apathy. It was learned that an official from the Nabha Department of Labor failed to process the application, which had been gathering dust for three years.

This was in 2021, after union activists intervened, a labor official sent the claim to the Punjab Building and Other Construction Workers’ (BOCW) Welfare Board for the financial benefit. Despite this, Hansraj was unable to receive much-needed financial assistance because officials entered the wrong recipient account number.

Parkash Kaur, wife of Hansraj Singh, runs from post pillar to get financial help but to no avail.

In an interview with The Tribune, Parkash Kaur, who also works in construction, said she had lost faith in the government after years of harassment. “My husband is sick after falling from the roof. I met with many officials, but to no avail. The poor are exploited at all levels.

Vijay Walia, an activist fighting for the rights of construction workers, said: “This type of harassment by labor officials forces poor workers to turn to intermediaries. The incident like this creates a link between the responsible for the work and the intermediaries. The labor officials – who were responsible for the delays and negligence – should be prosecuted under the relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code. »

Meanwhile, labor officials in Nabha on April 13 this year had written to the BOCW Welfare Council to provide financial assistance to Hansraj.

Sumeet Jarangal, the labor commissioner, said he would look into the matter and ask relevant officials to take action in this regard.

Alice F. Ponder