India’s Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, has recently approved a groundbreaking scheme aimed at providing insurance cover to casual workers employed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). This move is designed to address the inherent risks associated with the challenging tasks these workers undertake in remote and hazardous areas. The scheme is expected to offer financial security and welfare to the families of casual paid labourers who play a crucial role in building infrastructure in the country’s farthest frontiers.
Insurance Cover for Casual Workers
- The approved scheme is set to provide a significant INR 10 lakh ($13,500) to the families of casual paid labourers in the unfortunate event of their death.
- The Defence Ministry stated in a release that this initiative is part of ongoing efforts to enhance social security measures for these workers, acknowledging the perilous nature of their work in treacherous terrains.
- BRO employs a substantial workforce, with up to one lakh casual workers contributing to infrastructure projects in border areas.
Prior Welfare Measures and Policy Changes
- This recent move follows a series of welfare measures and policy changes initiated by the Ministry.
- In September 2023, a policy was introduced to ensure dignity for BRO’s casual workers in case of death.
- Under this policy, the preservation and transportation of mortal remains to their native places were facilitated, and funeral expenses were raised from ₹1,000 to ₹10,000 for those whose last rites are performed at the worksite.
Acknowledging the Risks
- The Defence Ministry emphasized the severe risks faced by casual paid labourers working in hazardous conditions, including inclement weather, inhospitable terrain, and occupational health hazards.
- The provision of insurance coverage on humanitarian grounds is seen as a significant morale booster for these workers, acknowledging the sacrifices they make in the line of duty.
BRO’s Vital Role in Border Infrastructure
- BRO plays a pivotal role in building crucial border infrastructure, spanning from Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim to Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
- Projects undertaken by BRO include the construction of roads, bridges, tunnels, airfields, and helipads.
- The insurance scheme is expected to serve as a crucial social security and welfare measure, ensuring the livelihoods of the families of these unsung heroes.
Comprehensive Welfare Measures
- Apart from insurance coverage, BRO workers in forward areas benefit from a range of welfare measures.
- These include portable cabins, prefabricated shelters, bio toilets, snow tents with polyurethane insulation panels, special winter clothing, and rations for high altitude.
- Healthcare facilities, training in emergency medical management, and makeshift schools for their children further contribute to their overall well-being.
Recognition and Independence Day Celebration
- The importance of BRO’s role is not only acknowledged through policy changes but also in national celebrations.
- Last year’s 77th Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort included 50 BRO workers among the 1,800 special guests.
- This recognition underscores their vital contributions to India’s infrastructure development in forward areas.
Important Questions Related to Exams
1. What recent initiative has the Defence Minister approved for Border Roads Organisation (BRO) workers?
a) Education program
b) Housing project
c) Insurance scheme
2. How much financial coverage will the families of casual paid labourers receive under the approved scheme?
a) INR 5 lakh
b) INR 10 lakh
c) INR 15 lakh
3. What region does BRO primarily focus on for building crucial border infrastructure?
a) Southern India
b) Western India
c) Northern India
Kindly share your responses in the comment section.