Illness, widowhood, accident, fire, communal riots, floods and other such natural and human-made calamities result in loss of work, income and assets for poor working families. In times of such crisis, poor families not only loose work and income, but also sell their assets like land and houses and even borrow money at very high rates. Hence, workers and their families are pushed further into the cycle of poverty and indebtedness.
SEWA started an integrated insurance scheme to support women in times of crisis. Operative since 1992 in collaboration with our nationalised insurance companies, it has demonstrated that insurance for the poor can be run in a self-reliant and financially viable way. 32,000 members were covered this year through an annual individual premium of Rs.60. This gave them some protection against the various crises that continuosly threaten their lives and work. An additional Rs.15 per annum ensured that their husbands got life insurance; a widowhood insurance for women at their own insistence.