Community Managed Micro Insurance

Andhra Pradesh
Mother of three children – two sons and a daughter – Mrs. Laxmi was active in the Self Help Group movement though she hailed from the downtrodden section of the society. She and her husband eked out livelihood by working as farm labourers, but Mrs. Laxmi made it a point to save some money and deposit in the Jhansilaxmi Mahila Sangham.

The group formed in 2002 had been performing well and members obtained a loan of Rs. 2-lakh at one go. “Each member got Rs. 25,000 and we were more than happy to see such big money. For poor people like us, getting loans is a herculean task,” she says. A positive fall out of the thrift activity was putting the money to good use. “I have a mentally retarded child and was worried about his future. As soon as I received the loan I deposited a sum of Rs. 10,000 in his name. Who will take care of him if something happens to us,” she questions. She says the mentally retarded child was the beneficiary of the disabled pension of Rs 500.

“My regret is losing a golden opportunity of not joining the Abhayahastham pension scheme. When the scheme was launched I had even saved Rs. 400 to pay the premium. I was convinced about the benefits of the pension scheme for SHG members.” Mrs. Laxmi recalls that when she was about to enrol in the scheme, other group members dissuaded her. “They all had one fear. Anybody who joined the insurance scheme would die in due course. They instilled fear in me that I would pay for it if I enrolled in the pension scheme. I dropped the idea bowing to peer pressure,” she lamented.

Tears welled up her eyes as she made a fervent appeal that poor women like her should be given an opportunity to join the pension scheme. “Knowingly or unknowingly we could not join the pension scheme. It could bez due to superstitious belief or lack of awareness. Government should give us another chance to join the scheme,” she pleads.

“We feel desperate to join the scheme when we see other elderly women in the village happily getting the monthly pension of Rs. 500. The confidence of the pensioners gives us hope that we can also dream of getting such benefit, if the Government gives us a last chance. I regret the lost opportunity,” she observes.

  • Name : P. Laxmi Chinakampally Village
  • District :Chittoor
  • Mandal : IRALA