[AI] Govt. plans insurance scheme for disabled

Sameer sameer.latey at yahoo.co.in
Fri Sep 14 10:43:10 EDT 2007



Govt plans insurance scheme for disabled

Sreelatha Menon / New Delhi September 14, 2007

May implement the Rs 2,400 crore programme this fiscal.



While the social security Bill for the unorganized sector may take a long 
time in becoming a reality, the disabled in the country may get their own 
insurance

scheme funded by a unique corpus soon.



The disabled who have been denied insurance cover by companies all these 
years stand to get insurance as a right once the scheme is in place this 
year.

The source of the funding of the insurance scheme is also unique.



It is to be funded through a Rs 2400 crore corpus that has accrued to the 
Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment from public sector banks.



These banks, which had made a profit while rounding off their accounts, had 
been asked by the Supreme Court to spend the money for public good 
specifically

for the disabled after a PIL three years ago.



The ministry, which has started receiving the money, plans to implement the 
insurance scheme in this financial year using the funds.



Interest from this corpus would be used for various disability welfare 
schemes and the insurance scheme will benefit from this fund, officials 
said.



The National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, 
Mental retardation and Multiple disabilities and the Chief Commissioner for 
Persons

with Disabilities are working out the social security cum insurance cover 
with various insurance companies.



A three-member team of experts, including Pradeep Ghosh of the NGO Oasis 
Bhopal, Dr T V Ramesh of Insurance brokering firm Alegion in Chennai, and 
Shyamala,

director of Adi (formely Spastic Society of Northern India, has been working 
on the insurance scheme with the actuaries of insurance companies for the

last four months.



Pradeep Ghosh, one of the experts working out details of the insurance 
scheme with actuaries, said it was likely to be implemented on a pilot basis 
in one

or two districts to begin with and would be spread out to the rest of the 
country in phases. Ghosh added that it was a big achievement for the 
disabled

as they had been denied insurance cover by all companies so far.



Ghosh himself an Ashoka social entrepreneur who was formerly with the IT 
sector said the insurance companies came forward for a Governemnt-supported 
insurance

scheme after disability activists and lawyer Colin Gonsalvez threatened last 
year to move the court on the denial of insurance cover to disabled.



Poonam Natarajan Chairperson of the National Trust said that the scheme was 
being processed and she would not be in a position to give details now.



However sources said that the insurance cover would later incorporate 
products like endowment policies which would provide pensions to the 
disabled.



The two national agencies on disability would be sending a proposal of 
demands to the insurance companies and the scheme is likely to be 
implemented in

this financial year, sources said.



Regards

Sameer Latey
Mumbai, India 






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