Quarterly update – Apr-June17
Injured Worker Health-care and Compensation Progress:
With the new Worker Assistance Centre now fully operational in Manesar, team activity has picked pace. Highlights:
Assisted another 163 injured workers at the ESI Hospital. Of these, an increased 44% (73 workers) asked for help regarding their overdue ESI compensations - up from 33% of the last quarter – reflecting an increasing trust in Safe-in-India services.
Obtained 39 new compensations amounting to Rs 25 lacs – up from 27 compensations and Rs 6 lacs in the previous quarter. Changed our methodology to more conservative; now compensation is counted only when cash is received (because we experienced long delays after payment confirmations from ESIC)
In third quarter, we expect to assist another 200+ workers, receive more than 40 compensations amounting to more than Rs 50 lacs as we have finally started succeeding in obtaining long-pending pensions.
Expect to finish the year having achieved our plan to help 1000+ workers with health-care, manage 350 compensation cases, and collect more than Rs 1.5cr; providing a 3x+ tangible direct return on the investment in the Safe-in-India team.
Case Study (Chandan Kumar) and Testimonials: Chandan lost three left fingers in Nov15 but after more than 15 visits to ESIC, had not received his pension until Jan17 when he came to Safe-in-India. After five months of intensive escalations, we obtained his pension for Rs3000 per month and a job in an Airtel shop. To hear his story, see this video, made by Ram Babu, another ex-worker. Here are some other testimonials.
Impact Reporting: We have now launched our first Impact Report on our website. This will be updated and improved monthly.
Progress in systemic changes in ESIC:
Our follow-up processes are now mapped to ESIC’s own internal processes and we have started making some progress in influencing them:
In Mar17, we sent a letter to ESIC with detailed tactical and strategic recommendations to improve the ESIC Act and Regulations 1952 stating that these workers are insurance premium paying customers of ESIC, a highly profitable public entity, and should be treated as such, rather than an inconvenience to ESIC staff.
As of now, we have seen only one small change implemented – start of a simple check-list for ESIC branch staff so that they provide specific and correct feedback to workers on their documentation to speed up the process and to reduce days of work lost for injured workers in visiting ESIC offices.
Since Feb17, we have also been sending monthly Management Information ("MI") to ESIC Gurgaon and National Head office showing our pending cases, their progress through various stages and recommendations to improve processes. This has helped improve executive accountability in ESIC offices, increasing our success ratios.
At ESIC events called Suvidha Samagan, at times, more than half of the workers are supported by Safe-in-India, demonstrating the need for this service.
All ESIC rules will now be changed/embedded in the new Labour laws. This is both a shame (a reason to delay tactical recommendations eg. all documents submitted should be formally acknowledged, so they are not later on “lost”) and an opportunity (our strategic recommendations be included in new laws eg. none of the many ESIC governance bodies have any representation of contract workers who form the vast majority of the work-force; almost all our 500+ cases are contract workers!).
In the second half of 2017, we are going to escalate our recommendations to the senior ESIC, government and political offices.
Obviously, every systemic change we are able to bring, as a result of our experiences in Gurgaon-Manesar, is going to help workers all over India.
Auto manufacturers Supply Chain Issues
The data we have collected from our first 500+ registered workers demonstrates the issues with the supply chain of the automobile manufacturers in Gurgaon Manesar. Vast majority of the injuries are happening in the supply chain of Maruti, Hero and Honda.
We are now looking to recruit a Senior Executive to start our Supply Chain initiative, Here is the description of this exciting new role in case you know the right candidate.
Our partner, Aajeevika Bureau, continues to provide excellent assistance to us as an incubator. Our own Sec 8 company should be registered by end Aug17. We chose a Sec 8 company over a Trust structure as it drives a higher level of governance under India’s Company Law - something we our ourselves very keen on.
Do look up and spread our new Donate button on our website. We will scale up!
Thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to any feedback.