Now, Garima project offers insurance scheme for migrants

The Garima project was launched in Kozhikode after infectious diseases were reported among migrant labourers a couple of years ago.

The Garima project was launched in Kozhikode after infectious diseases were reported among migrant labourers a couple of years ago.  

Scheme available at medical college, general hospital and Perambra taluk hospital

The Kozhikode district administration is expanding the ambit of the Garima project for ensuring better living standards for migrant labourers by offering a health insurance scheme along with it. The scheme, being implemented in association with the Labour Department, is titled ‘Garima Plus’.

A senior Health Department official told The Hindu on Wednesday that right now the facility was available at Government Medical College Hospital, and Government General Hospital, Kozhikode, and the taluk hospital, Perambra. It might get extended to other government hospitals in the district in the future.

The Garima project was launched in the district a couple of years ago after infectious diseases were reported among migrant labourers here. Staff from the Health Department and local bodies were asked to inspect the premises of migrant labourers and grade them to ensure their adherence to hygiene standards. Worse-off places were graded ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ and contractors were asked to cough up fines and improve the situation within a time-frame. Officials were asked to review the status regularly and submit reports.

This reportedly incurred the wrath of certain labour contractors too, who claimed they were being harassed by officials in the name of inspection.

A few contractors took a bus full of migrant labourers to the District Collectorate claiming that the regular inspections and official reprisals were taking a toll on their work. After this, there were reports that officials were going slow on enforcement.

An official from a grama panchayat on the suburbs of Kozhikode city told The Hindu on Wednesday that they were holding inspections only when complaints were being raised about the abysmal living conditions of migrant labourers and that it was not a regular practice now. Meanwhile, diseases such as filariasis and leprosy were being reported among migrant labourers in the district. Health officials were on alert after a cholera case was reported from Perumanna recently.

The Health Department official, however, pointed out that, medical camps were being regularly held on residential premises of migrant labourers across the district. There was a possibility of migrant labourers becoming carriers of diseases in October-November as they were coming back from their native places after the Dasara season now. Mobile Immigrant Screening Teams were conducting survey to check out the possibility of diseases such as filariasis and malaria among them. A team of panchayat officials, health inspectors, and ward members had been visiting the residences of labourers and grading them, she added.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:34:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/now-garima-project-offers-insurance-scheme-for-migrants/article30099706.ece

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