India is popular for a lot of things, including high temperatures and heat waves. And experiencing temperatures above 49°C (120.2°F) is quite normal for the country. But while it’s normal, it’s definitely not bearable, especially for low-earning female workers. And the greenhouse gas emissions of other countries make everything worse. So, what should be done to make these female workers safe? Well, they have a plan, i.e., heat-linked insurance.
But what is it, and how will it work? Why not discuss these questions in the blog? So, let’s not extend this introduction and get started immediately!
The brave and hard-working female workers in India are in dire need of help amid high-rising temperatures. Just imagine being in a place where the temperature soars above 49°C (120.2°F)! As one worker named Hema shared, it’s like living in an oven where your head feels like it will explode. And these scorching heat waves have made life almost impossible for them.
But why have these workers come up with an insurance plan? Well, the answer lies in the devastating impact of climate change. With other countries releasing gas emissions, India experiences the effects 30 times more! And sadly, this means that even more intense and searing conditions await us in the future.
Further, such temperatures affect workers’ health and ability to provide for their families. It’s a vicious cycle that leaves them struggling to survive and should be stopped right away!
Now, let’s shed light on the proposed solution, i.e., the insurance. Aka Extreme Heat Income Insurance, the step consists of collaboration from three important groups;
So, how does this insurance work? It will help these hard-working women in India by paying them certain amounts during extreme temperatures.
Now, you might be wondering, what exactly is this specific temperature threshold? It’s like a line that needs to be crossed for the insurance to start helping.
For example, in one area called Ahmedabad, if the temperature stays at a scorching 134°C (273°F) for at least three days. Then, the insurance will kick in and give the workers some money to help them during those tough times. So far, it’s a pretty good initiative and is a safety net for these workers.
Alright, now let’s discuss stats and numbers, i.e., pilot chase and coverage of this insurance. Currently, Gujarat is having trials with over 21,000 women benefiting from this special package.
Gujarat has experienced some really intense heat waves in the past. And one of its cities, Ahmedabad, recorded a devastating time in 2010, losing 1,300 people to heat. Once the trials get completed and give the desired results, the step can be carried out in other states of India.
Let’s discuss the challenges that low-earning female workers face and how this insurance can help them;
It is okay to question the credibility of weather prediction apps to help these women out in advance. But India is a wide country, and not everyone gets to access such modernized technology. So, without any earlier warnings, these women face a hard time surviving the heat.
Another challenge is that these women don’t get much flexibility from their jobs. For example, think about construction workers. They have to be at the construction site when the work needs to be done. They can’t just say, hey, let’s start work super early when it’s cooler! It doesn’t work that way.
And these women have to do domestic chores, too. Thus, eventually, they have to work in heated temperatures regardless. Otherwise, their pay can get compromised.
Though there are other challenges too that these women face. The Extreme Heat Income Insurance is their savior in this scorching heat. And we’re all on board with the idea. This brings us to discuss the other part, i.e., how this insurance helps them further;
since these female workers have to give up their hard-earned money to take leaves amid high temperatures. The insurance can help them by paying them the lost amount back.
But here’s the setback;
The compensation process takes some time. There’s a delay between when they experience the extreme heat and when they actually get the money. So, this can make it impossible for them to take some days off.
While we’ve already discussed a few challenges and worries of these workers. Here’s another con, these ladies can’t afford medical healthcare either.
And with losing their money to jobs and medicine, putting food on the table gets difficult, resulting in more challenges. But luckily, this insurance can help them overcome these troubles.
First, let’s talk about the contributions of SEWA members. They want to work in a team and access all the premium perks to help these women out. And in the future, there’s a possibility of making the insurance even better. For example, they can expand its parameters and make it more advanced.
Though the insurance only works amid certain heat temperatures for now. But these contributors want to make it accessible without any restriction.
But here’s another deal! SEWA is not just stopping at the insurance. They are doing even more to support the workers. They have a climate fund, which is like a savings mechanism.
It can help the members save money for things like home insulation materials. And one of the amazing things they are saving for is cool roofs. These roofs can actually reduce temperatures by several degrees! Further, they are giving out shade tents and coolers to help these people beat the heat. Isn’t that awesome?
But you know what? All these efforts require funds. And that’s where the financial aspect comes in. To make this insurance sustainable and reach more people, we need to raise more funds.
Currently, the organizations like Arsht-Rock, have contributed a huge amount. But to expand the coverage and make it even better, more funding is needed.
But SEWA isn’t the only heat-linked insurance working in India. There are other ones, too, and the government is trying to make them more affordable. Which is quite a great deal!
India has been advancing in both tech and financial sectors for quite a while now. And with this Extreme Heat Insurance, the country can really change the future of low-earning female workers. In response, other countries can also take such measures and protect their citizens.