Postal employees and Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) will be provided Rs 10,00,000 as compensation in case of death due to Covid-19 while discharging official duties.
Union minister for IT and communications Ravi Shankar Prasad announced the department’s decision on Saturday.
Security cover of Rs 10 Lakh has been extended to all employees of @IndiaPostOffice and Grameen Dak Sewak (GDS)- the frontline #CoronaWarriors in country’s fight against #COVID19, if they succumb to death due to Corona Virus.#IndiaFightsCorona— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) April 18, 2020
Postal services fall under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) and have been operational ever since the lockdown began on March 25. In addition to delivering mail, postal employees are also distributing ration and delivering medicines.
“The cover has been provided to all departmental employees and gramin dak sevaks, who work as agents of the department in rural areas,” Arundhati Ghosh, India Post’s director, said.
“They are frontline workers in the fight against Covid-19. In case they succumb to death due to Covid-19 they will be given Rs 10 lakh as compensation,” she said
A postal official said that the move came after many employees demanded such a measure.
“Many of our employees had been asking for a cover for a long time, so now it has been decided to provide it to them as they are at high risk,” the official said.
“They are in constant contact with numerous people as they travel from door to door and even equipment, such as the devices need to make Aadhaar-enabled payment, can transmit the virus,” the official added.
The existing provisions of the compensation for accidents available to the employees have been extended to provide them with the cover.
Earlier, the Delhi government had announced an ex-gratia payment of 1 crore for frontline health workers in case of death due to Covid-19 while discharging official duties.
Maharashtra has announced a compensation of Rs 50 lakh for kin of police officers in case they die on duty.