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Age issue hits Telangana farmers seeking life insurance cover

Hyderabad: Farmers in Telangana state seeking to avail of the state government’s Rs 5 lakh free life insurance cover are facing a peculiar problem.

Farmers in the age group of 18 to 59 years are eligible for the scheme. The date of birth is taken from the Aadhaar card.

However, Aadhaar cards were issued with only the year of birth in the beginning to lakhs of people.

For such farmers, the government has prescribed a common date of birth as July 1.

A large number of farmers deliberately increased their age on Aadhaar to avail the Aasara government pension of Rs 1,000 per month which is available to those above 65 years of age. These farmers are now ineligible to claim free life insurance.

Staff from the agriculture department has been conducting enumeration of eligible farmers for the free insurance scheme by visiting all the villages. They found that 20 per cent of farmers cannot claim the insurance because of the age factor.

Farmers have told the officials that their date of birth was increased on Aadhaar to meet the Aasara pension eligibility criterion. But this is not something the officials can do anything about. Changing information on Aadhaar cards involves a long process for which suitable documents need to be submitted, which the farmers lack.

Principal secretary in the agriculture department C. Parthasarathy said, “It’s not possible for us to make corrections on Aadhaar. Farmers should apply to UIDAI with necessary documents in support of their age. But most of the farmers in villages and agency areas are illiterates and do not have any documents. As per the directions of the state government, we have to go by DoB on Aadhaar. For those who have only year of birth on Aadhaar, the government has prescribed July 1 as the date of birth. Their age will be calculated for free insurance scheme based on that.”

The government entered into an MoU with LIC to implement the scheme. LIC has given a commitment to settle the insurance claims within 15 days of the death of the farmer.

The nominee recommended by the farmer will get Rs 5 lakh in case of his death. For accidents, Rs 2 lakh compensation will be given.

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