Insurance Support Extended to Taxi Drivers of Darjeeling

25 July 2023


Event Details

Darjeeling Welfare Society (DWS) was established in May 2023 by Harsh Vardhan Shringla, former Foreign Secretary and Ambassador to the USA. The genesis of the DWS can be traced back to the period of the COVID pandemic. At that time, Shringla observed that communities in the Darjeeling area were severely affected due to a loss of livelihood and the lack of medical facilities to deal with the consequences of the pandemic. In his private capacity, Shringla arranged for some relief in the form of COVID-related equipment and support systems. He also informally extended assistance in facilitating the return of stranded Indian nationals from Darjeeling and Sikkim from the Gulf and other locations abroad.
DWS’s key areas of developmental focus are in the areas of underprivileged and under-addressed sections of our youth, our elderly, and our women. Special needs, Culture, Education, and Health feature strongly in its outreach also. DWS has initiated several projects in these directions such as the distribution of hearing aids, and diagnostic kits to the elderly, the distribution of laptops and tablets to meritorious students, the distribution of sports kits to community associations, and so on. Other initiatives undertaken by DWS have included dental camps in rural communities by a committed team of young dentists and guidance and counseling of youth preparing for careers, especially in public service. The DWS website highlights these and other initiatives (
In its most recent project, DWS recognizes the hard work and frontline services of Darjeeling’s drivers that cater to the tourist sector and provide the lifeline of supplies for hilly areas. They work hard often under risky conditions to cater to the needs of tourists and our communities in our mountainous terrain with no recourse and financial protection. Hence the DWS has initiated a project to provide Accident Protection Insurance from blue chip global insurance provider IFFCO Tokio General Insurance to 100+ local drivers. This will go a long way to recognize and respect their services to a valuable segment of the local economy and reassure their families in case of a mishap. Under this scheme, in case of loss of life while working, the next of kin of insured drivers would receive Rupees Five lakhs and in case of injury and hospitalization, drivers shall be covered up to Rupees One lakh.
DWS President, Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla expressed happiness over the fact that DWS was in a position to support our taxi drivers, who are frontline ambassadors of Darjeeling with the world beyond and who work so tirelessly often under difficult conditions, through this gratis insurance scheme. He has conveyed his thanks to sponsors IFFCO Tokio General Insurance and Shri Ranga for their gesture of support to the people of Darjeeling. DWS will take this and other schemes designed for the welfare of the people of Darjeeling forward in cooperation with all partners and stakeholders.
The project will be executed in location-based phases starting with Darjeeling town. An event was organized on 25th July in Darjeeling to grant Accident Protection policies to four groups of recipients consisting of 30 drivers under Old, Lower, and Upper Clubside Taxi Driver Syndicates and a few Independent drivers. The occasion was well attended and drivers were felicitated and explained how to avail of their grants by DWS officers and volunteers. More such events are planned by the DWS in the coming weeks.

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