The scheme that was available a few years ago allowed the weavers and their family members to visit clinics with which the Handloom Department had tie-ups
Handloom weavers have sought a separate health insurance cover for them and their family members, a scheme that was available a few years ago.
According to Mu. Varadarajan, general secretary of Erode District Handloom Weavers Association, the scheme that was implemented earlier allowed the weavers and their family members to visit clinics with which the Handloom Department had tie-ups. They were given identity cards and were able to get treatment free of cost for cold, fever, etc., which did not require hospitalisation. However, the scheme was modified and ceilings were introduced.
“We had spoken to the officials seeking removal of the ceilings. But, the scheme was dropped completely. I learnt through Right to Information Act that the weavers can avail of the Chief Minister insurance cover. But, it is only for serious illness and not for normal fever or cold.”
According to a handloom weaver at Sankagiri, the weavers expected an announcement in this regard in the election manifestos but were disappointed. There is no specific health insurance scheme now for weavers.
Mr. Varadarajan added that another scheme (saving and insurance scheme) for handloom weavers had also been suspended. About 8 % of the wages that the weavers received was deducted and along with government contribution, it went into a group insurance scheme. When a weaver retired, he or she got the contributory premium and bonus. This scheme was stopped six or seven months ago. This affected the savings opportunity for weavers, he said.
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