Post Mortem

A helping hand Here is what you can do for your household help

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/28/2019 12:28:34 PM IST

 When I asked Tia which class she is in, she replied with a shy smile, “Class-II, Dangor Baba.” Eight-year- old Tia had lost her father when she was only two. Since then, both she and her mother – Naro, have been living with my brother and his family. Her father was employed as a driver in my brother’s company. This New Year, my brother wanted to give a different gift to Tia and Naro. He asked me what he could do to secure the future of them, financially. 

In a city like Dimapur, we all have domestic helps. They are a part of our family. Without them, all hell breaks loose, especially when we have school-going kids and a working mother. This New Year, let’s learn how you can light up the lives of our domestic helps – without whom our daily routines will turn upside-down in a matter of minutes. 

Open a bank account for them. I still remember that in order to open a bank account for Naro, my sister-in-law had to run to the local councillor twice. Naro didn’t have any documents to open an account. 

That was six years ago. They also opened a Sukanya Samriddhi Account in Tia’s name, two years back. The Sukanya Samriddhi Account is a government-backed special account for girl children, which can be opened at any post office. It earns a healthy interest rate of 8.5 per cent. 

Merely opening an account is not good enough. We should also encourage them to avail of other facilities whenever required. Taking credit is an integral part of one’s financial life. We should encourage them to take a small loan from the bank, if not for anything else, to feel like a part of the financial system. Since they don’t participate in the facilities of the banking system, they end up taking credit from the loan sharks on hefty interest. 

In fact, we can open a Prime Minister Jan Dhan Account without any valid resident or identity proof, and that is how Naro’s sister opened her account. But we have to furnish our documents within a year of opening an account. Thankfully, she has applied for Aadhaar and is waiting for the Card. The acknowledgement receipt for the Aadhaar application is also good enough to regularise any Jan Dhan Account. 

Also, see that he/she is subscribed to the PM Jiban Jyoti Bima Yojana. In this scheme, one is insured for two lakh rupees for a yearly premium of Rs. 330. 

He/she should be subscribed to the PM Suraksha Bima Yojana. In this, one gets accidental insurance of Rs. 2 lakhs for a yearly premium of 12 rupees. 

Also, check whether he/she is subscribed to the Atal Pension Yojana. If you are 18 years old and if you contribute Rs. 210 every month, you will get a pension of Rs. 5000 every month, after you reach 60 years. 

Here, it brings me to the last part of today’s discussion. My brother was keen to know if he could open a Mutual Fund SIP in both Tia and Naro’s name from her salary. Much to his surprise, my answer was a ‘No’. My understanding is that no one should be exposed to market-linked instruments without his or her proper understanding of the risks involved. Naro is almost illiterate. She doesn’t understand anything about the market. It will be wrong on our part to expose her to market volatility, although our intentions are good.                                      

Dipankar Jakharia, 

24 F.C. Road, Guwahati, (dipankar.jakharia@gmail.com)

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