Small scale entrepreneurs engaged in silk worm rearing in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district have alleged that the department of sericulture is denying them health insurance and other incentives meant for them.
A number of silk worm rears said that to the boost sericulture in Kashmir various incentives including health insurance and rearing sheds are provided to progressive silk worm rears under centrally sponsored schemes.
Mubeena Banoo, who has been engaged with the rearing from past 10 years, said that in 2016 her health conditions deteriorated and under the provisions of the women rearer health insurance, a centrally sponsored scheme, she applied in the department but to no avail.
“Every year the officials of the department give us health insurance forms. When we submit them during the time of need they denied us the insurance cover,” she said, adding that what purpose theses forms serve when the department ultimately turns them down.
Mubeena said that as per the provisions of the scheme four family members of a progressive rearer get the health insurance cover.
“We used to get free consultations at a private hospital in Pulwama but the department has stopped this for reasons best known to the authorities,” she said.
Another rearer, Manzoor Ahmad, said that he had developed a calculus in the bile duct in 2015 and when he applied for the health insurance he was instructed to attend a private hospital.
“When I submitted the bills for compensation before the Sericulture department they turned them down,” he said.
Ghulam Nabi, an aged rearer said that he is rearing the worms in his house. I want to do it on large scale and had applied for getting a rearing shed.
“They have given a deaf ear to my pleas,” he said, adding that starters have been sanctioned the sheds but his application has been thrown into the dust bin.
The Deputy Director sericulture for Pulwama, Ashraf Ali said that there is no provision of insurance for male rearers.
“The female rearers are giving health insurance by the department. When we receive claims by female rearers we sanction them,” he said.
On the issue of sheds he said the sheds are provided to such entrepreneurs who are registered with the department and have been engaging themselves with the activity for five years.