Ignored for nearly a decade, more than5,000 Information assistants, called“Tathyamitra”inWest Bengal, havecome togetherto form a unionnamedAll Bengal Common Service Centre Village Level Entrepreneur Union, which isaffiliatedtotheCentre of Trade Unions.
It can be recalled thattheinitiativewas started bytheLeft supportedUnited Progressive Alliance I (UPA I)governmentkeeping in mind the woos of the unemployededucated youths. Through this,theycould provide e-services to different projects of thecentral andstategovernments. However,now the periphery of workforthevital e-service providersisbeing lessened every day.
At thisjuncture,thecreation of this platform, which ispart oftheTathyamitranetwork of the Government of India,is aimed towards fighting the livelihood issues on behalf of theTathyamitras,said Indrajit Ghosh, thenewly electedpresidentof theunion, whiletalking toNewsclick.
Last Saturday in Shramik Bhavan inKolkata, a convention was held thatsawparticipationofdelegates from all major districts of the state.In total, around120 delegates participated in the convention.
Along with18 delegates from Bankura, Purulia, Murshidabad,andMalda,almost all the districts of the state took part inthediscussion and highlighted the livelihood issuesoftheir profession.It is mentionable that thousands of unemployed youth use this platform of common services centre toprovide e-services to common people and earn revenues in the process.
The earlier Left Frontgovernment used to facilitate the workings ofthecommon services centre. Anumber ofthe then government’sflagship projects were administered andimplementedtoreachthe people through the common service centres.
However,after the change of thegovernment and the advent of the Trinamool Congress in power,the scenarioabruptlychanged. They started to cancel all the contractswith the Tathyamitrasfortheir projects and started seeing theworkersas a liability of the erstwhile Left Frontgovernment. The Narendra Modi-ledcentralgovernmentalsostarted taking harsh stepsto reducethe income potentials of the Tathyamitras.
The delegates in their discussion brought forward their woos and highlighted that the centralgovernment’srole innot allowing them to give servicesforPANcardsand Aadhaar cards. If these services wereallowed, it wouldaugment their income to a greatextent andalsohelp the common people as thousands ofTathymitraswouldbe able totakethe services to nooks and corners of the country.
Right now,theTathyamitrasare only allowed toprovideservices to aminusculenumber ofcentral and state projects, the delegates complained in the convention.
Stateminister Arup Banerjee, who isin charge of the CSC,was intimated aboutthe prevalent issues faced by the Tathyamitras but tono avail.
Inthe convention,the participants raised a demand for giving theTathyamitras theresponsibilityof public e-services of all thecentral and state government departments.
Atthe same time, they also demanded that to be given amonthly wage, ESI provident fund and gratuity to allTathyamitrassimilar toother central project workersof the country.