Community Managed Micro Insurance

Andhra Pradesh
Though, a member of the Omshakti Mahila Sangham in the village for over a decade, the poor woman eked out her living by running a small kirana shop selling essential commodities. With a mere Rs 200 as Old Age Pension, she was unable to cope with the harsh life. Advancing age and elephantiasis almost crippled her life. Every time she fell sick, her daughters rushed to her to provide medicare in the hospital. “Life was tough, with no body to take care of my well being. The Self Help Group members and my daughters were always at hand to help me,” she says. The ANNA Abhayahastham co-contributory pension scheme launched in 2009 gave her a ray of hope. She was one of the lucky few women who enrolled in the pension scheme that ensured Rs. 500 a month. She recalls that prior to joining the thrift activity, she had to borrow money for hospital expenses. “Once I joined the SHG, fellow members were concerned about my health and gave me loans for medical expenses. I slowly repaid the money through the Abhayahastham pension,” she notes. Recalling her pitiable condition after the untimely death of her husband 35 years ago, Mrs. Savitri says her family members and relations extended financial support for a brief period. “After some time, they left me and my daughters to fend for ourselves. The only solace was that I was given a milch cow. I sold the milk and earned Rs. 100 a day. With that money, I educated my daughters and even married them off,” she notes. “Today, if I am living comfortably, it is the whole hearted support and timely help extended by the SHG members ,” Mrs. Savitri says adding that without the SHG support, life of several old women like her would be tough. “The Self Help Group is always ready to help us in times of crisis and difficulties,” Mrs. Savitri says and reveals that still availed small loans from the group and supported her married daughter financially. “Out of the Rs. 500 monthly pension I receive, I spend Rs 300 for ration and the remaining amount for medicines and milk. There are times, when the group gives me a loan. They are compassionate when people like us are unable to repay the monthly instalment. In such cases, we pay the interest but ensure that the loan is repaid in time,” she says expressing her gratitude to the group members. Bidding good bye, Mrs. Savitri says every SHG member should join the pension scheme. “Those who are still not enrolled as members of any group, should join the thrift movement. The situation is such that if we are not members of any thrift group, we are looked down. There is no loss in being part of the big Self Help Group movement in the state,” she says confidently.

  • Name : Govindareddygari Savitri Chinakampally Village
  • District :Chittoor
  • Mandal : B KOTHAKOTA