74-year-old Rukma works as a waste-picker, living in the Gujar ki Thadi area of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Belonging to a De-Notified Tribe, Rukma has been staying alone since her husband’s death nearly 15 years ago. Her five sons live separately. Given their nomadic or semi-nomadic nature, most members from de-notified communities do not possess any documents to prove their identity. As a result, they cannot access the various government schemes and entitlements.
Rukma’s story was no different. She, too, didn’t have any identity proof and was leading a life of deprivation. To add to her woes, she was also diagnosed with a throat tumour, the treatment for which she couldn’t afford. ActionAid Association has been working with the most disadvantaged de-notified communities, collectivizing them and building their awareness on their rights and the various government schemes. As part of our continued intervention, we supported Rukma to get a pension card and an Aadhar card and to open a bank account. Rukma was subsequently able to access several welfare programmes. Thanks to her registration under the old-age pension scheme, she started getting a sum of Rs. 1,000 every month. Our team also facilitated Rukma’s access to the Bhamashah Card, which provides several benefits to women – financial and non-financial – under the Government of Rajasthan’s Bhamashah Yojana. Rukma received timely treatment for the tumour she had since the related expenses, to the tune of Rs. 1,50,000, got covered under the medical treatment sanctioned by Bhamashah Yojana. She is now also able to continue taking her medication regularly. Besides, she currently holds a waste-picker identity card issued by the local governing body, Jaipur Nagar Nigam. Given her old age, since she cannot travel long distances for work, this card has been highly beneficial as it allows her to also pick waste from locations close to her place of stay.
“Thank you, ActionAid Association, for all your support! Your efforts enabled me to get medical treatment for my tumour on time and to receive benefits under several other welfare schemes,” says Rukma with a smile on her face.
Rukma’s gratitude extends to all of the individual, corporate and institutional supporters of ActionAid Association over the last many decades.
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