At least 10,000 craftsmen families in Orissa will be covered under the Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swathya Bima Yojana during this year, officials have said.

Altogether 30,000 artisan families in the state have already been covered under the scheme so far and efforts are on to include another 10,000 families this year, Assistant Director in Development Commission (Handicraft) of the central government, Biswa Mohan Mishra said.

Mr. Mishra was here to attend the Crafts Bazar, an annual national fair of handicraft and handloom.

About 1.5 lakh craftsmen families spread all over the state practise at least 50 different types of handicraft.

Under the Shilpi Swastya Bima Yojana, artisans get benefits like highly subsidised insurance schemes, educational assistance for children, accident benefits of Rs. 1 lakh and medical assistance to four members of a family.

The Centre has inked an agreement with the ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited to implement Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swastya Bima Yojana.

While annual contribution of beneficiaries towards the insurance premium is Rs. 150 for general and Rs. 75 for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Categories (OBC), matching contribution of the Central government towards annual premium is Rs. 650 and Rs. 725 respectively.

“We are trying to cover more artisans under the highly subsidised scheme,” he said.