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426. Upanishad in Life

"All is in each, each in all" is an Upanishadic formula. When a house is on fire, everyone in the village rushes to put out the fire. Village life is based on our spiritual principle that one man's misfortune is really the misfortune of all. Insurance is based on this principle. A man who owns a godown with 1 lakh worth of goods pays a fire insurance premium of Rs. 500/-. Hundreds and thousands of traders do it. The premium collects in the company. In case of an accident, he who paid Rs.500/- receives a compensation of one lakh. The society pays for the misfortune of a single individual. Churchill described it as society ensuring the last man the average benefit. At the turn of the 20th century, Churchill said if he had been a dictator, he would put the STAMP of insurance on every door.

Dr. P.C. Reddy of Apollo Hospital says if health insurance is introduced in India for an annual premium of Rs.500/-, the policy holder can be given the benefit of Rs.30,000/- of medical expenses. A private trust in Madras is advocating a similar scheme for auto rickshaws, an insurance policy of a lakh of rupees. As auto rickshaws are prone to accidents, such a policy is a boon to them. This is negative benefit for the community. There is a positive side to it. Banana is a crop that can be destroyed by a cyclone. An insurance introduced all over the state will protect the affected area. All crops can be so insured. Once a crop is insured, the insurance company will insist on watering, fertilising, etc. in time. Otherwise the farmer will lose the benefit of insurance itself. That enhances the efficiency of farming.

Suppose an insurance policy is introduced ensuring that the top ten or thirty boys in a college will be paid a salary until they get employed, there will be a rush from everyone to get insured. The insurance company will insist on the boy maintaining his scores at a certain level. This is a positive way of raising the standards of education. Insurance is a boon. We have not availed of it even to the level of ten percent that the West has availed of. It is possible for us to devise fresh insurance schemes suited to national development.

story | by Dr. Radut