Social security for anganwadi worker, women and children during pandemic
Social security for anganwadi worker, women and children during pandemic

New Delhi: The Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Zubin Irani in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday claimed that there is need of giving social security to anganwadi workers and women and children during a pandemic.

Under the Social Security benefits, Anganwadi Workers (AWWs)/ Anganwadi Helpers (AWHs) are covered under the following Insurance Schemes:

Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY): AWWs and AWHs in the age group of 18 to 50 years are covered under PMJJBY for life cover of Rs 2.00 lakh (covers life risk, death due to any reason).

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY): AWWs and AWHs in the age group of 18-59 years are covered under PMSBY for accident cover of Rs 2.00 Lakh (for accidental death and permanent full disability) Rs 1.00 Lakh (for partial but permanent disability).

Anganwadi Karyakartri Bima Yojana (AKBY) (modified): AWWs/AWHs in the age group of 51 to 59 years are covered under the AKBY (modified) as long as they are engaged for life cover of Rs.30,000/- (covers life risk, death due to any reason).

AWWs/AWHs in the age group of 18-59 years are also provided Female Critical Illness benefits of Rs.20,000/- on diagnosis of identified illness {invasive cancers (malignant tumour) manifest in the organs viz. Breast, Cervix Uteri, Corpus Uteri, Ovaries, Fallopian Tubes and Vaginal/vulva} and scholarships to their children studying in 9th to 12th Standard (including ITI courses). Scholarship of Rs.300/- per quarter per child is available for two children per family.

In view of the special circumstances prevailing in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the life cover for AWWs/AWHs in the age group of 51-59 years (closed group as on 01.06.2017) has been increased from Rs.30,000/- to Rs.2,00,000/-.

Although, above Social Security Insurance Schemes for Anganwadi Workers/ Helpers have now been transitioned to full premium payment regime with effect from 1st April, 2020. The Ministry has requested DFS, Ministry of Finance to reinstate the previous convergence of Insurance Schemes of PMJJBY/PMSBY/AKBY/FCI, etc upto 31st May, 2021.

Measures taken by the Ministry to ensure availability of food to the children who benefitted from Mid-Day Meal Scheme : During COVID-19, State Governments and UT Administrations were advised to provide Food Security Allowance (FSA) comprising of foodgrains, pulses, oil etc. (equivalent to cooking cost) to all eligible children till such time their schools are closed due to aforesaid pandemic. The modalities for this purpose may be decided by the respective States and UTs, suitable to the prevailing circumstances. States and UTs were further advised that all the precautionary measures to face the situation arising out of COVID-19 should be followed.

Data pertaining to the use of Jan Aushadhi Kendras by women during the pandemic: Data pertaining to the use of Pradhan mantri Bhartiya Janaushadi Kendras (PMBJKs) by women during the pandemic is not quantifiable, as the PMBJK doesn't keep records based on caste, creed, gender, economic status, etc. To make these Kendras easily accessible the Government has decided to open 10500 PMBJKs across the country covering all the districts by March 2025. Under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) about 6611 PMBJKs are functional across the country as on 18.09.2020 covering 732 districts. The Department has also launched a mobile application "Janaushadhi Sugam" for facilitating the general public by providing a digital platform for availing host of user-friendly options like - locate nearby PMBJK (direction guided through Google Maps), search janaushadhi medicines, analyse product comparison of Generic vs Branded medicine in the form of MRP & overall Savings, etc.

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