At the beginning of 2020, Mrs Mariammal and her husband, a casual laborer, lived off a monthly income of around 13 USD in a small village in Tamilnadu, India. Mrs Mariammal is a member policyholder of ICMIF member organisation the DHAN Foundation, one of ICMIF’s 5-5-5 project partners.
They have four children, two of which still live at home and the other two, although married, still require financial support from their parents.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and a national lockdown was introduced in India, their income was reduced to a pittance and they needed outside financial support simply to afford essential daily items. DHAN provided every member of the family with a face mask and 10kg of rice during this period.
In June, tragedy struck and Mr Mariammal who was the main breadwinner for the family, suffered a stroke and died.
Through her membership of the local kalinjiam (self-help group), Mrs Mariammal and her husband were covered under DHAN’s Mutual Life Support Programme (which is supported by ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Strategy). DHAN paid the life insurance claim amount of Rs.10,000 (USD 130) to Mrs Mariammal within 10 days. This money covered the cost of the funeral and meant that the family did not need to borrow money from money lenders.
Mrs Mariammal explains why the work of the DHAN, as supported by ICMIF and 5-5-5 donor organisations, was a critical lifeline in her hour of desperate need: “I felt I had lost everything and all hope but my self-help group through its mutual solidarity helped me at my time of need and gave me confidence for the future.”