Government Social Welfare schemes are unknown in India. Most of you may be aware that in countries like US and UK, the unemployed and elderly people receive allowances (via social security) from government to wade through difficult times. However, in India, this kind of government support has been unheard of.
However, with fiercely growing economy, India is changing! The recent announcement by Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is quite heartening. According to the announcement, Indian Government will be providing health insurance to people under poverty line by way of smart cards.
Once implemented, the Rashtriya Swastha Bima Yojana (RSBY) would cover 1.2 crore families, comprising husband, wife and three children, in the first year, and beginning 2008.
Under the scheme, all existing diseases would be covered. Hospitalisation, surgery and daycare services would also be covered. The Centre (75 per cent) and the State (25 per cent) would share the cost.
I applaud Indian government for taking this small, yet positive step forward in improving the standard of life of poor people in India.