Insurance cover for 8 lakh kendu leaf pluckers

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to provide insurance cover to lakhs of families engaged in plucking and binding of kendu leaf, state government on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).

"About 7.8 lakh kendu leaf pluckers and 20,000 binders in 19 Kendu Leaf divisions will get insurance cover. The state government will contribute Rs 8 crore for the purpose," said forest and environment minister Debi Prasad Mishra.

The insurance was launched by covering at least 1,000 beneficiaries from Angul Kendu Leaf Division. "All the kendu leaf pluckers and binders will be covered by October this year," the minister said.

The Divisional Forest Officers of concerned Kendu Leaf divisions will act as nodal officers on behalf of the state government. Heads of families of Kendu Leaf Pluckers and binding labourers would be covered under LIC`s Jana Shree Bima Yojana.

Age eligibility for any beneficiary will be between 18 years and 59 years. A person would lose the insurance cover once he/she attains the age of 60 years, they said.

In case of normal death of the insured person`s family members will get Rs 30,000 and Rs 75,000 in case of death due to accident. A Kendu leaf worker would get Rs 37,500 if he or she became partially invalid in accident.

Besides, the beneficiary`s two children would get financial assistance of Rs 1200 per annum each.

Premium amount for the insurance was fixed at Rs 200 per annum per person. While the state government would bear 50 per cent of the amount, rest of the premium money could be arranged from a central government fund.