Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Labour & Employment
24-February-2011 20:03 IST
Social Security Schemes of India Like Employees’ State Insurance Scheme, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana Among the Best in the World –Mallikarjun Kharge

Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, Minister of Labour & Employment has said that the ESI Scheme is one of the best Social Security Schemes in the world. The Minister today inaugurated the celebrations of Diamond Jubilee Year of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation as it entered its 60th year of existence. The ESI Corporation is celebrating the Diamond Jubilee year from 24th February, 2011 to February, 2012. During this year-long celebration, special emphasis will be laid upon bringing more and more workers under the integrated social security of ESI Scheme. Shri Kharge also called for co-operation from the States for better running of the Schemes. In his inaugural speech Shri Mallikarjun Kharge announced a series of new initiatives. ESIC has planned to strengthen primary health services by putting up one Medical Kit in each Dispensary containing the basic equipments like Blood Pressure measuring instrument, Glucometer, Nebulizer etc. To extend and strengthen preventive, promotive and other out-reach activities, one Mobile Wellness Van will be provided in each ESIC Hospital during the Diamond Jubilee Year. The first Wellness Van was flagged off by the Minister from Okhala ESIC Hospital by remote control.

In co-ordination with the State Governments one ESI Dispensary each in the States will be upgraded by the ESI Corporation as Model Dispensary cum Diagnostic Centre. Shri Kharge unveiled the model of the Dispensary cum Diagnostic Centre at the inauguration of the Diamond Jubilee Year of ESIC, in New Delhi today. A book titled “6 Decades of Inspiring Hope” depicting the rich history of ESIC since 1952 was also released by the Minister. Shri Kharge presented the letters of Permission issued by Medical Council of India, to the Director General, ESIC for running Post-Graduate courses in 5 ESI Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences & Research at Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. Shri Prabhat C. Chaturvedi, Secretary, Labour & Employment, released the Revenue Manual of ESIC on the occasion while Shri Ravi Mathur, Addl. Secretary L&E released the Calendar of Activities for the Diamond Jubilee Year of ESIC.

Dr. C.S. Kedar, Director General, ESIC in his welcome address pronounced commitments of the Corporation towards the stakeholders to be fulfilled by the end of the Diamond Jubilee Year. These commitments have the sole objective of better services and reaching out to the stakeholders. The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 was the first major legislation in Independent India for providing comprehensive Social Security to the workers in the organized sector. Today, ESIC infrastructure has increased many folds with 1486 Dispensaries/AYUSH Units and 145 ESI Hospitals. Presently, ESI Medical Care institutions are treating more than 4.5 crores of patients annually. Under ESI Scheme, an amount of Rs. 1626.93 crores was spent on Medical care and Rs. 426.93 crores was disbursed as benefits, in cash, in 2009-10. ESIC is going for a yearlong special drive for covering more & more workers under the Social Security cover of ESI Scheme.

Following is the text of the Speech of Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, Union Minister of Labour & Employment at the Inaugural function of ESIC Diamond Jubilee Year: On this day in the year 1952, the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the ESI Scheme at Kanpur. The venue was the Brijender Swarup Park and Pandit ji addressed a 70,000 strong gathering in Hindi. In his inaugural address he said:

(Quote)— “The Scheme which I am inaugurating today is a step in the right direction. However, I would like to add that we should not become complacent. We should not be fearful of any dangers but the situation in this world is that there are wild animals in the guise of human beings whom we have to confront.” (Unquote)

I am truly delighted to be here at this inaugural function of the Diamond Jubilee Year of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation. I convey my good wishes to each and every member of ESI family on this very auspicious and happy occasion. I also compliment the Members of the Corporation, officers and officials of ESIC & ESIS for the high level of professionalism that they have inculcated over the years. No praise would be enough for the stellar role they play in delivering much needed social security to India’s vast workforce.

The ESI Corporation has been at the forefront in providing integrated healthcare and social security to India’s workers and their families under ESI Scheme. While inaugurating the Scheme in 1952, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru stated that the Scheme which he was inaugurating was a novel scheme. The Scheme was launched from Kanpur and Delhi simultaneously and since then it attracted a few thousand workers within a few days. There is impressive growth in the number of beneficiaries, from 25,000 in 1952 to over 55.5 million today. This bears complete testimony not only to the growing demand for these services, but also to the quality, delivery and reach of the services. ESIC is one of the premier social security organizations in the world today and this is a matter of great pride for all of us.

ESIC has made a mark in the social security sector and is aspiring to be at the very top spot in terms of excellence, professionalism and quality, predictability of service and, above all, reliability and integrity. I would like to see the day when the world looks up to ESIC as a model of delivery of integrated social security for the workforce. I do believe that the day is not far off.

ESIC has enriched our nation by keeping its vast workforce in good health and spirit. ESIC now has a rich history of 60 years. The Corporation has grown from strength to strength and over the years established a brand image for itself. To deliver even better services, the Corporation has taken steps towards improvement in its medical care service delivery, upgrading its facilities and a highly ambitious IT Roll out project. The organization has also decided to enter in the field of Medical Education as this will result in upgradation of the hospital infrastructure and ultimately benefit the members of the ESI Scheme. I am confident that the coming years of the Corporation will be even more productive and ground-breaking in the service of the people of our great country.

Technical excellence and compliance with high ethical standards are prerequisite for sustaining the growth and development of any profession. ESIC has been pro-active in aligning its social security agenda with the challenges of rapid globalization. I am glad that the ESIC has made continuous improvements not only in the services and facilities, but also in the efficiency of service delivery.

I am happy to launch the yearlong Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. It is a pleasure to note that on this occasion, ESIC is not resting on its laurels but is going ahead with renewed vigour to deliver firm commitments to the stakeholders. It is very satisfying to note that the Corporation will endeavour for more and more coverage of the workers under the umbrella of Social Security during this year. To enhance the satisfaction of stakeholders, ESIC shall make all efforts in further improving the medical care at the primary level by upgrading the Medical infrastructure at the Dispensary level and through Dispensaries added with diagnostic facilities. To promote preventive health care Mobile Wellness Van will be deployed.

The efforts of the Corporation for introduction of Medical Education have borne fruits. Post graduate courses have already commenced in 5 disciplines at the PGIMSR Rajaji Nagar in Bangalore and in the current year they will commence in ESIC Hospitals at Basaidarapur Delhi, K.K. Nagar Chennai, Andheri East & MGM Hospital Mumbai.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has exhorted us all to work hard for the welfare of our brothers and sisters:

(Quote) “We in India face diverse challenges on many fronts. We live in an era of rising expectations. We live in an era of multiple contestations. But we are no longer fatalists. We no longer see our destiny as pre-ordained. The youth of today are taking their destiny into their hands and are seeking to shape their future. In my childhood, I lived in a village without potable water, without electricity, without a school or hospital. But we had faith in our future and that motivated us. We walked miles to go to school. We studied in the dim light of an oil lamp and I therefore, know what it is like to be a poor in a country as big as ours. Today, the percentage of our population that lives in those conditions is much lower than it was at our independence. But the absolute numbers are still very large and that is an unacceptable preposition. Millions of our citizens are still deprived and we cannot rest content if that situation is not ameliorating. Every day is a test for millions of underprivileged children, men and women in our country.” (Unquote)

On this auspicious occasion of the inaugural ceremony of the Diamond Jubilee Year celebrations of ESIC, it would be most appropriate for all Officers, staff and other stakeholders to reiterate their commitment to the cause of excellence, ethical conduct, highest standards of professional uprightness and work with dedication & devotion. I once again applaud ESIC and all of you on this occasion. The organization has served our country with great distinction in the last six decades. I sincerely believe that the best is yet to come. I wish ESIC and all those connected with it, all success in your effort to achieve high level of distinction. My best wishes for the ensuing Diamond Jubilee Year. JAI HIND