Emphasizing Health Insurance as Social Security System of Unorganized Sector in Maharashtra: The Case of the Ragpickers


  • Daniyal Jadhav
  • Shashikala Gurpur
  • Lasya Vyakranam




The Indian economy is categorized into two sectors, namely: organized and unorganized sectors. The unorganized sector consists of a pivotal part of the Indian economy. Ragpickers are that class of employees who can be considered as an organized-unorganized labor class. Ragpicking business entails collecting, sorting, and selling various waste materials, mainly plastics or metals. After doing all this work, they sell recyclable material to the junkyard dealers at very petty prices, making them economically poor. Ragpickers are a major contributor to the Indian economy, as they are involved in recycling. Ragpickers mostly work without being equipped with any protective gear and are exposed to many health hazards while doing their role. They suffer from occupational risks and are often found hospitalized paying their bills from their pockets. There are times when they even do not go to hospitals because of hospital expenses. The paper primarily focuses on analyzing the different health insurance schemes, which are provided as social security by the Maharashtra Government and tries to find out the possible loopholes in health insurance policies because of which the ragpickers are not able to utilize or avail the benefits of the policies for which they are eligible. For developing a better understanding of the subject, the researcher has conducted an empirical survey on the ragpickers of Pune. Based on this, the researcher has recommended some policy changes, which can prove beneficial for the welfare of the Ragpickers.