Community Managed Micro Insurance

Andhra Pradesh
Her son, a differently abled child, cannot walk or crawl and is unfit to take up any work. Suryakantam takes care of the boy and feeds him. She is self-employed and spins wheels whenever the local master weavers give her some work. Work is available during periods of demand. Even when she works, she gets only Rs. 10 per day. This measly amount does not meet her bare minimum needs like food, clothing and shelter. The amount she earns for spinning is spent on house rentals. She cannot afford to go and live under the shade of trees like the other poor do as her son cannot cope. Acting on the advice of local friends and elders, she joined the Sadguru Swayam Sahayaka Sangham of her village and began saving. It is already six years that she has been a member. She was soon granted a loan of Rs. 10000. With this amount she could clear debt of Rs 4000 and she invested the remaining amount to purchase spinning tools. Again, she started looking for work to feed her son, pay the interest on loan and of course, the principal amount. At this critical juncture, two schemes of the government of Andhra Pradesh came to her rescue. Her son was registered for a pension as a physically challenged and she herself registered for the ANNA Abhayahastam insurance scheme. She borrowed amount from her friends and paid the insurance premium at one go (she was already past 60 years of age when the scheme was implemented). Both mother and son started receiving Rs. 500 each as monthly pension . She received the amount under the Abhayahastam scheme. The total amount of Rs. 1000 is the main means of livelihood for the family of the two today. In the absence of the monthly pensions for me and my son, our lives would have been miserable. Perhaps, the only thought to cross our minds would have been that of a suicide, Mrs. Suryakantam admits openly. Today, Mrs. Suryakantam is immensely thankful to the government for many reasons. First, the security cover provided; secondly, the moral strength emanating from the poor-friendly policies; thirdly, the quantum benefit delivered at the doorstep and lastly, supportive network of staff and women members at the village level. She particularly acknowledges the role of local insurance staff like Bima Mitra and group leaders in helping her take informed decisions. Their help has been extremely valuable and timely without which many of poor and unfortunate women widows like her would have been buried in the dustbins of contemporary social history unnoticed and uncared for, she says.

  • Name : V Suryakantam Uppada Kothapalli Village
  • District :East Godavari
  • Mandal : Kothapalli