Q. Are you registered under the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW)* Welfare Board?
Construction Worker: Yes, I am registered with a BOCW Welfare Board in Vaishali district of Bihar.
Q. Have you received any benefits under the BOCW?
Construction Worker: After my husband’s death, I received support for my children’s education. I have two daughters, and I received ₹50,000 for organising their weddings. Also, I receive ₹3,000 in my account in a year.
I got work at a brick kiln. Here, the owner of the brick kiln hands over the wages once a week. I also work for the local farmers when work is not available at the kiln. Here, I receive between ₹200 to ₹300 for a day’s work. Moreover, I receive an overtime of ₹200 for 2 hours of overtime.
Q. Have you faced any challenges in receiving the said benefits?
Construction Worker: No, I have not faced any such problems. I get all the necessary forms filled by a contact; the person also arranges for the needed attachments.
Q. Is a creche facility available at your workplace? Do you bring your children to this facility?
Construction Worker: Yes, there is a facility for children to play and stay near the kiln. Members from a nearby organisation also teach the children there. My children are grown, but there are other working women who bring their children along.
Also, a camp of tribal workers from Jharkhand stays at the kiln for three months, along with their children. All these facilities are provided to them.
Q. Have you received a safety kit or an essential kit from BOCW?
Construction Worker: No, nothing of the sort was given. We received a cap and shoes from the chimney owner, which I wear while working.
Q. Did you get any grant or money during the COVID-19 lockdown? If yes, when and for how much?
Construction Worker: Yes, I received some amount in my account, but I do not know from where or under which benefit. I also received ₹500 in my Jan Dhan account** twice. Free foodgrains were given; and the Panchayat distributed masks and soaps.
This interview was conducted with a Construction Worker in Bihar in Hindi on 30 September 2022, and has been translated.
Source: The Telegraph
* Under the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Act, 1996, building and other construction workers (that include brick kiln workers) are required to be registered with state-level Construction Workers’ Welfare Boards. Minimum safety standards and conditions of employment for construction workers have also been prescribed under the act.
** Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMDJY) is a national savings scheme launched to ensure access to financial services, including a saving account, remittance, credit, insurance, and pension.