8 lakh Kendu leaf workers come under insurance cover

The State Government has decided to bring all Kendu leaf pluckers and binders under an insurance scheme in a bid to provide them social security. Around eight lakh workers would be benefited under the scheme.

An MoU was signed here on Friday between the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Kendu Leaf) for the purpose. The LIC would insure the eligible Kendu leaf pluckers and binding workers of the State who are working in 19 forest divisions.

To start with, 1,000 workers of the Anugul Forest Division were insured on Friday. Environment and Forest Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said the insurance process would be completed by the end of September covering all the kendu leaf pluckers of 19 Forest Divisions of the State.

The LIC would start the insurance processing from Bhubaneswar and Sambalpur.

The Divisional Forest Officers (Kendu Leaf) would act as nodal officers on behalf of the Government to provide insurance cover to the eligible members, ie, heads of families of pluckers and binders under a Jana Shree Bima Yojana. The age eligibility would be 18 to 59 years, and after attainment of 60 years the insurance cover would be terminated.

Under the scheme, in case of the normal death of the insured person, his or her family members would get Rs 30,000, and in case of death due to accident the amount would be Rs 75,000. A worker would get Rs 37,500 if he or she becomes partially handicapped in an accident.

In addition, at least two children of the worker covered under the insurance scheme and studying in Classes IX and X would get an educational allowance of Rs 100 per month.

Premium would be charged at Rs 200 per annum per person, out of which 50 per cent would be collected from the nodal officers and the rest 50 per cent would be available from Central Government fund.

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