The pandemic brought with it extreme difficulties that affected different sects of society differently. We all saw the distressing visuals of migrant workers walking endlessly to return to their hometowns as they were left jobless after the announcement of a sudden nationwide lockdown in March 2020.
Keeping this in mind, the Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) of the Department Of Science And Technology (DST) has created a portal called ‘Shramik Shakti Manch’ or SAKSHAM which will connect labourers to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in their native places via WhatsApp.
Sending a ‘Hi’ on WhatsApp will enable labourers to find jobs corresponding to their skills with the help of an artificial-intelligence-driven chatbot.
The main aim of SAKSHAM is, first, to eliminate middlemen and labour contractors, and second, to identify the level of skill proficiency and developing a Skill Card for the labourers or the Shramik based on it.
Hence, it will help both the Shramik and MSMEs as the dynamic portal will help not only in finding jobs but also mapping the skills of the Shramik vis-à-vis requirements of MSMEs and other industries all across the country.
The portal would empower the Sharamik by projecting their candidature directly to the MSMEs and other employers and would also address aspects related to their skill proficiency levels.
How Will SAKSHAM Function?
The portal, SAKSHAM, will function mainly with the demand and supply data in tandem with algorithms and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools for geospatial information on demand and availability of the Shramik.
The portal will provide an analysis of the skill training programs of the Shramik to the MSMEs and other industries.
The portal is live and can be accessed at sakshamtifac.org or on the number 7208635370. An offline variant for those without smartphones can be accessed through a missed call on 022-67380800.
Currently, the chatbot is only available in English and Hindi, but TIFAC is working on expanding the project to other languages.
The relevant data and necessary information concerning both the Shramik or the industries, particularly, MSMEs, is being automatically updated through WhatsApp and other links.
Till now the MSME industries have been enlisted from Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra and the list is growing.
The biggest drawback is that even though several MSMEs are on board, the Shramiks are not, it has been a challenge for TIFAC to reach out to the labourers and workers.
The collection of data poses another important issue. Till now data for the portal has been collected through NITI Aayog, NGOs, and surveys but TIFAC is also reaching out to state governments and local district administrations that have data on migrant labourers.
Will SAKSHAM be able to achieve what it aims for? What is your opinion on the portal? Let us know in the comment section.
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