Mobile ‘sahayaks’ in Delhi rendered jobless

With doorstep delivery of public services coming to a halt, cost-cutting measures have been imposed leading to laying off some last-mile agents

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Two years back, the Delhi government had introduced doorstep delivery of public services. It had tied up with visa processing firm, VFS Global, to deliver driving licenses, caste certificates, income certificates and so on, to the doorsteps of citizens who requested for the same by calling on the 1076 helpline.

However, ever since the lockdown, these services have come to halt. Many of the ‘mobile sahayaks’ who were responsible for the last-mile delivery of these services have been rendered jobless.

The Service employed about 120 mobile sahayaks, along with 110 executives who worked at the call centre, about a dozen supervisors, more than 30 dealing assistants and approx. 25 coordinators.

Several ‘sahayaks’ on whom the entire delivery system banks, have been asked to leave as part of cost-cutting measures put in place by VFS Global. These sahayaks are supplied by a third party and earn about Rs 15,000 a month. With demand falling the Company has been forced to redeploy staff.

About Rs 10 crore had been invested in the scheme, and as per government records, the helpline had received and processed more than two lakh requests in a year’s time, most of which dealt with issuance of income certificates and caste certificates.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has recently given approval to the doorstep delivery of ration to beneficiaries. However, about six months will be required to implement the scheme.