Insured by community
Death of a tribal woman in Madhya Pradesh prompts community to provide speedy insurance benefits to women during emergencies
Ga woman from the Gond ONI BAI, tribe in Madhya Pradesh, became a widow last year. Her 35-year-old husband, Lakhan, died of an unknown illness.The family was already in debt and Lakhan’s sudden death came as a blow to his wife as she had no means to repay the medical arrears. It was in this time of crisis that a community-run insurance programme came to her rescue.
The cooperative effort is an initiative of nearly 7,500 women from villages across Panna district in the state. Most of them are members of various self-help groups (shgs), although a non-shg member can also be a part of this initiative. The project, which started informally in 2011, provides insurance of 15,000 on submission of an annual
` premium of 300. In November 2013, the
` women registered under the non-profit, Saksham Mahila Samuday Kalyan Mandal (literally,community welfare fund of capable women),which lends money to its members to meet emergency expenses.
Goni Bai was entitled to the benefit as her ailing mother-in-law is an shg member. She got 5,000 the day her husband died and
` received the remaining amount in 10 days. She used the money to settle her debt and pay the medical expenses.
In the first two years,86 insurance claims were settled under this project.Although the insurance can be availed by both husband and wife for a premium of 150 each, the initia
` tive is aimed at empowering women.Thus,a widow can claim the money, but a widower
JITENDRA / CSE