India Women Use Digital IDs to Apply for Basic Income Program

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by Bianca Gonzalez, Activist Post:

The chief minister of India’s Tamil Nadu state has opened a camp in the Dharmapuri district to help 10 million eligible women with digital IDs to apply for monthly universal basic income of Rs 1,000 (US$12.21).

According to The Economic Times, this is preparation for September’s launch of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party’s “flagship” social program, a universal basic income plan.

Phase one of the camp, from July 24 to August 4, will cover 221,484 family ration card holders. Phase two, August 5 to 16, will cover 247,111 ration card holders. Almost 36,000 registration camps are expected across the state.

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In the 2023-2024 budget, state officials pledged to allocate Rs 7,000 crore ($855,000) to the Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thittam (the Kalaignar Scheme for Women’s Rights), an initiative to ensure that female heads of families have a basic income. It is designed to compensate women in households for unpaid labor they perform.

To be eligible, a family’s income must be less than Rs 2.5 lakh ($3,000) per year. The scheme also has a cap on the acres a family can own and the annual domestic electricity consumption. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and only one woman per family is eligible for the support.

State officials have been told to ensure that those most marginalized–those on the streets, tribal individuals and sanitary workers–be included. Officials were also told to help prospective beneficiaries obtain required documents like ration and Aadhaar cards.

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