Blog

Financial services and social security

Low income migrant workers face serious exclusion from formal financial services such as savings, credit, insurance and pension. Lack of financial access leads to an erosion in their incomes and savings, and pushes them into recurrent debt. Overall, levels of financial literacy are also poor which push workers into becoming victims of fraud and malpractice.

Aajeevika Bureau has promoted the Rajasthan Shram Sarathi Association (RSSA), a Section 25 Company which offers targeted financial services to migrant workers and their households. RSSA provides a diverse range of financial products - micro loans, insurance, assistance in opening bank accounts, pension and savings advise. Micro-loans offered by RSSA help migrant families smoothen their consumption gaps and avoid expensive debts. An informal savings' instrument called "Gullak Bachat" for women is helping them manage their cash flows in the absence of a wage earning male members. A number of financial literacy tools have been designed for workers to help them become more proficient at calculating their wages and managing their expenses.

Aajeevika Bureau and RSSA together are actively involved in the registration of construction workers in the Construction Workers' Welfare Board. The Board offers a number of social protection products such as scholarships, life insurance, pension, and emergency assistance to construction workers. RSSA also enrols low income workers into the New Pension Scheme (NPS) - Swavalamban.

Under its financial inclusion programme, migrant workers are extended help in opening bank accounts - the major objectives being promotion of savings and facilitating remittances. This service is in much demand, especially at destinations, where a few banks have started accepting the ID cards issued by Aajeevika Bureau, as a valid document to satisfy their Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.