“More than 98 percent of the total surveyed workers working in the ceramic cluster in Thangadh of Surendranagar district do not get benefits of Employee State Insurance (ESI) coverage” – suggests a survey conducted by Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara.
Employee’s State Insurance is public social security and health insurance fund for Indian workers which is managed by the Employee’s State Insurance Corporation. However, the survey by an NGO concluded that around 984 workers are not covered as the act is not rigorous there. Moreover, only 1.5 percent are getting benefits from the ESI Act.
Of the 800 male workers, only 12 (1.5) percent said they were getting benefits of ESI and only four out of 200 female workers said they were getting ESI benefits.
An RTI response given by the ESI Corporation notes that as of March 2018, there were only 6,347 insured persons registered with it from the Thangadh area.
“Ceramic workers encounter a number of hazards that place them at greater risk of disease. For more than one hundred years it has been well documented that ceramic workers experience higher rates for silicosis, Tuberculosis (TB) and lead poisoning,” the survey report read.