Updated: Aug 18
Dear Employers and Supporters of Indian workers
ESIC’s new scheme “Covid Pension Relief Scheme ” (CPRS) provides lifetime pension to the family of a worker who died of Covid19. The amount can be from a minimum of Rs 1800 per month to 90% of the average daily wages of the deceased worker. The scheme is retrospective from 24th March 2020 for next two years. Full ESIC Circular on the scheme is here.
Clearly, this scheme can be a life changer for families who have lost their dear ones due to COVID. However, the scheme is failing as of now to attract deceased workers’ families. We believe that, until now, ESIC Delhi has received only 120 claims spread across about 13 ESIC Branch Offices. ESIC’s Rajiv Chowk, Gurgaon Branch Office, which has around 10 lakh workers registered with it, has only 10 applications.
There could be many reasons for extremely low take-up albeit its early days. Low awareness (this is common; 86% of 108 workers surveys by us were not aware of this scheme); or deaths among ESIC registered workers are low (unclear and probably unlikely); their unwillingness to talk about a Covid-death in family (97% of surveyed 108 workers said that they did not know anyone who has died of Covid); the aggrieved families are back in remote villages and are completely out of touch with ESIC; or the documentation needed is too onerous for them (anecdotal feedback that many death certificates do not state covid19 as a reason for death). It is also possible that many workers who died of Covid19 and who should have been ESIC registered were not (65% of workers assisted by SII in the past 4 years did NOT get their ESIC card until after the accident).
Improvements will also be needed in the Scheme but we need applicants to understand what needs improvement. There is no doubt that the scheme process will need improvements. We have been able to help improve many ESIC processes in the past e.g. point 4 of this blog here. However, that needs large number of applications to build the process experience.
Could we please request you to help us help the worker community as below:
1. Please cascade this message to your worker contacts, unions, worker communities/villages and their leaders like Sarpanches, Asha and Angan-wadi workers, etc.
They/workers can contact ESIC help line 1800112526 or SMS/WhatsApp us on 0987115194 or email us as email@example.com We will respond within 48 hours.
Workers/others can also follow our Hindi Facebook page here for regular updates and for contacting us in case of need. We can also provide collateral like the above infographics should those be needed.
2. Please forward this message to businesses that employ more than 10 people, and therefore should be ESIC registered, and ask them to spread it to their workers.
3. Provide us any feedback to make this communication or the scheme more effective. We aim to take all feedback to ESIC to make this scheme more successful for the Indian worker community.
Safe in India Foundation’s services to workers and ESIC are free. Safe in India has assisted more than 3,000 workers until now with their ESIC healthcare and compensations, and has used this experience to help improve ESIC. SII does NOT charge workers, ESIC or anyone else for these services and effort. SII is driven by its worker-centric values and supported by its Wall of Supporters including the alumni of IIMA91 and IITR88, Azim Premji Foundation, Lal Family Foundation, among several others.
We look forward to your support and feedback/suggestions.
firstname.lastname@example.org Donate at: www.safeinindia.org/donate