Kolkata : Launching three ambitious social security schemes targeted at the poor and unorganised sector workers on the occasion of Rabindranath Tagore’s 154th birth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the initiative was a reflection of the bard’s call for empowering the poor.
On his first visit to West Bengal after taking over as prime minister, Modi kickstarted the “Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana” (accident insurance), “Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana” (life insurance) and “Atal Pension Yojana” here.
The event at the sprawling Nazrul Mancha began with Modi garlanding Tagore’s bust, followed by Governor K.N. Tripathi, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and union minister Babul Supriyo offering floral tributes.
Supriyo, a noted singer, rendered Tagore’s famous song “Prano bhoriye trisha horiye”.
During his around 40-mintue speech, Modi repeatedly refered to the Nobel laureate.
“Tagore in his poem ‘Atmadan’ in 1906 has observed that the poor don’t need support, they need to be empowered. His words are relevant even today. Today our resolve is to carry out that order of Gurudev,” said Modi, reciting the English translation of the famous poem.
Elaborating on the benefits of the scheme, he said his government was committed towards providing power to the poor enabling them to fight out poverty.
Hailing Bengal as land blessed by the goddess of knowledge Sarswati and of wealth Lakshmi, Modi exuded confidence of the initiative becoming a success.
“I have a faith that whatever sprouts from the land of Bengal goes bigger and flourishes. Anything that starts on Gurudev’s birth anniversary, and articulates his thoughts, I am confident his blessings will make the schemes a success and the country’s poor people will get empowered,” he said.
Born on this day, Vaisakha 25, according to the Bengali calendar (May 7, 1861 as per the English calendar), Tagore in 1913 became the first Asian Nobel laureate and the first non-European to win the prize for literature.
He also holds the distinction of having authored the national anthems of two sovereign nations – India and Bangladesh. The bard’s rich, diverse and vast literary oeuvre is virtually unmatched in the world. He was also a painter and a composer par excellence.
The Jan Suraksha Yojana, under which the schemes were launched countrywide, target the poor and unorganised sector who are neither covered by any form of insurance nor get pension.
Under the accident insurance scheme, a person will be provided cover of Rs.200,000 for an annual premium of Rs.12. The cover is for accidental death or permanent total disability.
The life insurance scheme will offer a renewable one year life cover of Rs.200,000 to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18 to 50 years, covering death due to any reason, for a premium of Rs.330 per annum per subscriber.
The pension scheme focuses on the unorganised sector and provides subscribers a fixed minimum pension of Rs.1,000, Rs.2,000, Rs.3,000, Rs.4,000 or Rs.5,000 per month starting at the age of 60 years, depending on the contribution option exercised on entering at an age between 18 and 40 years.