Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthaya Bima Yojana: Yet To Cover All Artisans

Posted on February 26, 2011 in Society


By Nikita Bothra:

Inhabitants of the Gollahali village in Karnataka are not receiving benefits from the Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthaya Bima Yojana (RGSSBY) that aims to make high quality health care available to artisans across the country.

Around 5000 artisans in Karnataka have benefitted under the scheme, according to the annual report 2009-2010 of the Ministry Of Textiles, Government of India.

The scheme sponsored by the Ministry of Textiles, provides health care to an artisan, his or her spouse and two dependent children.
Sayeed Hussain, 30, a silk weaver in Gollahali is unaware of any health schemes that he or his family is eligible to access. Born and brought up in Bangalore, he shifted his silk business to Gollahali three years back.

“My wife had undergone a complicated delivery and I had spent almost one and a half lacs on her, from the period of delivery to her recovery. Till date, I have not received an iota of aid during economic constraints. Besides I have no hopes from the Panchayat,” said Hussain.

“Lack of participation and miscommunication is a major hurdle in implementing any schemes initiated by the Government of India. The workers are not willing to participate in Gram Sabhas (annual meetings) that are held to spread awareness about the schemes that they are entitled to,” said P.S.Loknath, Panchayat Development Officer of Gollahali.

“Every development comes in phases. To achieve hundred percent success in any scheme, it takes time. Besides, the concerned welfare departments have a slack attitude towards their work and hence implementing the Yojnas successfully is a distant dream,” he added.

The ‘Health Cover’ under the scheme also includes maternity benefits (per child, for the first two) up to Rs2,500 in addition to dental treatment up to Rs250, eye treatment up to Rs75, baby coverage up to Rs 500. However the annual limit per family is limited to Rs 15,000. Also death and disability owing to accident of the artisan is also covered under the scheme.

“The government has initiated numerous schemes for the development of the Nation. The problem is, it fails to meet the end,” said Nagesh Hegde, renowned developmental and health & environment journalist.

“There is a long disparity between those who have and those who do not have ID cards (mentioning details of the insurance company and helpline numbers) Most of them (artisans) are denied the access to major health facilities due to lack of ID cards. And the Government fails to keep track of this,” he added.

The scheme provides cashless healthcare, which means that a patient can receive treatment in any of the panel hospitals and the insurance company pays the bills. In case a patient has to go to a doctor or a clinic, which does not fall under the approved list (panel hospitals) he will be reimbursed for treatment in seven days.

“I had undergone a major surgery in my left leg due to accumulation of numerous clots in it. I had to bare the entire expense by myself. I made repeated attempts to make an ID card in order to access health care facilities, but each time, I was kept delayed with fake promises by the Panchayat. Till today I do not have the card,” said Shiv Shankar, co-worker of Sayeed.

The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.

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