From Our Correspondent
HelpAge India, a leading NGO working for the cause and care of poor and destitute elderly people and the National Insurance Company Ltd (NIC), have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which will enable the HelpAge to act as the corporate agent of the state insurer and sell non-life products and services of NIC across India on commission basis. The MoU was signed by Shri H.S. Wadha, Chairman-cum- Managing Director, NIC and Shri M.M. Sabharwal, president, governing body of HelpAge India, in New Delhi on September 10. Shri G.C Chaturvedi, Joint Secretary, Banking and Insurance, Ministry of Finance, Shri G. Bhujbal, Director (Insurance), Ministry of Finance and Major General I.S. Dhillon (retd.), Director General, Help Age India, were also present on the occasion.
As per the agreement, HelpAge India will sell non-life insurance products and services across India. The income generated will be used by HelpAge for its various projects for senior citizens. These include support to old age homes and day-care centres, health care and restoration of vision, adoption of needy elders, livelihood support and lobbying for rights of elders.
This follows HelpAge'srecent association with the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). The NGO is now licensed to sell both life and non-life insurance services of LIC. This is to be mentioned here that the Parliament had passed a Bill on corporate agencies and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority on October 16, 2002 allowing NGOs to act as corporate agencies for insurance companies.
?We will make a cautious and careful start as we are aware that we are entering unfamiliar territory. In the first year we hope to restore the vision of 2000 aged persons through this tie-up,? said Shri M.M. Sabharwal, HelpAge president. He said in the first phase they will be operating from nine locations with an exclusive trained team comprising of 13 executives. These locations include Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
By utilising HelpAge India'snetwork of offices, the National Insurance Company hopes to expand its reach, while at the same time contributing to social development. It will also use its own offices to spread the message of HelpAge India. ?Realising the potential of alternate distribution channels, the NIC has already entered into strategic alliance with 15 banks in India, three state governments and leading automobile manufacturing companies like Maruti, Hero Honda, Eicher Motors, Bajaj Tempo, etc.,? said H.S. Wadhwa.