The state government of Kerala has launched Aawaz health insurance scheme for migrant workers in the state. The objective of this scheme is to provide a health insurance coverage for migrant laborers working across the state. This is a first of its kind scheme in the country that is providing health insurance to all migrant laborers. Under the scheme, labourers aged between 18 and 60 will be covered.
The labour and skills department of Kerala is preparing a comprehensive database of migrant labourers in the state. After the collection of data, the department will enroll them under a health insurance scheme. As per the notification, the registration process for migrant workers has been started.
However, the benefits of the scheme will be started from January 2018 itself. On the inauguration day of the scheme, about one lakh migrant labourers were registered for the scheme in all the districts of the state.
Aawaz Health Insurance Scheme
Under the Aawaz scheme, each migrant laborer will get an accident and death insurance coverage. The beneficiary will get a free health insurance cover of Rs. 15,000 and the government would also provide a death insurance coverage of Rs. 2 lakh. The benefit of this medical insurance scheme can be availed in government hospitals of the state as well as empaneled private hospitals.
Moreover, the government will record personal details and bio-metric data of individual migrant labourers. The state government of Kerala has taken several initiatives for the welfare of migrant workers in the state. The government is also about to complete the first housing project for migrant workers at Kanjikode in Palakkad which will be opened in January 2018. In addition, the Social Justice Department is planning for setting up crushers for migrant labourers at the work site.
As per the report of Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation (GIFT), In 2013, around 25 lakh migrant labourers were working in the state while 2.35 lakh being added every year in labour force. Under the scheme, the labour department is planning to complete the first phase of registration till December 31. Besides, the government has fixed the target to enroll five lakh inter-state migrant labourers.
Aawaz Scheme Registration and Smart Cards
Furthermore, a Kolkata-based private based Smart IT Private Limited has been given the responsibility to complete the task of registration, recording the details and issuing smart cards to the labourers. The cards will include their name, photo and address. In addition, thumb impression will be recorded separately of each migrant labour in the government’s database for security reasons.
The government has started the negotiation with insurance companies for choosing the insurance provider. However, until the process of negotiation is complete with the insurance company, the government will continue the benefits of existing scheme for all those workers who have registered. For this, government has allotted Rs. 10 crore for offering the benefits.
Although, the labour department will register only those migrant labourers who have a valid identity proof. The valid proof will be cross checked from the 14 documents listed by the Center. The registration process will be held at 200 locations of the state. However, the department has already collected details from one lakh migrant labourers across the state.
The labour department will also spread the awareness about the scheme through the FM radio advertisements in Hindi, Bengali and Oriya.