The project “HITARTH” aims to bring significant healthcare benefits in the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities in India who are eligible to get various healthcare services through the “NIRAMAYA”, Health Insurance Scheme of Government of India. Research conducted by the VOSAP team on the implementation of the Niramaya scheme revealed that it is not being utilized by many eligible individuals owing to the difficulty in enrolling, using online systems, misunderstanding of the benefits and complicated process of claim reimbursements etc. Henceforth, VOSAP decided to financially support social workers(Hitarth Sahayak) in order for them to help IDDs get medical expense reimbursements upto Rs 1 lakh per year under government of India scheme “Niramaya”.


The launch of Project “HITARTH” on May 13, 2024, in collaboration with PARIVAAR NCPO {PARIVAAR – National Confederation of Parents Organizations}; a Federation of over 310 Parents Associations and Civil Societies in 31 States of India, marks a pivotal step towards bridging the gap between the goal of government scheme to provide benefits and utilization of those benefits by the individuals with intellectual disabilities (IDDs) by creating a support system to navigate the challenges. 


As of March 31, 2024, India has an estimated disabled population of 70 million, with an estimated 21 million individuals classified under National Trust Disabilities. Despite the availability of the Niramaya health insurance scheme, its uptake and outcome remains significantly suboptimal due to many barriers.

The last five-year historical data of Niramaya health insurance (as per the annual result of National Trust, Govt of India) are given below:-

Year Enrolled PwDs No of Claims % of Claims Claim Amt Paid (INR) Avg/Claim (INR)
1 2019-20 77,086 19,086 25% 11,53,00,000 6,041
2 2020-21 1,74,979 13,096 7% 8,81,00,000 6,727
3 2021-22 1,13,292 18,852 17% 11,38,00,000 6,036
4 2022-23 1,87,290 28,323 15% 18,14,00,000 6,405
5 2023-24 86,542 14,065 16% 8,18,00,000 5,816
Total 6,39,189 93,422 15% 58,04,00,000 6,213

(Source Link:

Factors affecting the utilization of insurance benefits of the scheme include lack of awareness, bureaucratic hurdles, difficulty in accessing online systems and inadequate support resulting in financial struggle with medical expenses and limited access to necessary healthcare services.

These statistics, insights from PARIVAAR and the assessed need for a system provided the opportunity to create “HITARTH

The initiative’s name is an Acronym – HITARTH, which means “Well Wisher” in Indian Language and stands for Healthcare Initiative To Avail Rehabilitative Therapies and Health Coverage, and is designed to address the gaps that exist currently.

Key Features of “HITARTH”

  1. Awareness: Through a multifaceted outreach strategy, including educational campaigns, social media efforts, community events and workshops, the project will expand and raise awareness about the benefits of the Niramaya Scheme in specific communities and among the general public so they can bring beneficiaries to the system.

2. Better Healthcare: HITARTH is created to empower individual with intellectual disabilities and their families to fully utilize health benefits available to them from Government of India, help them access necessary medical care, therapies, and support services.

3. System to scale positive health outcomes :

  1. The initiative will deploy trained Hitarth Sahayaks, who will assist individuals/family members with enrollment, renewal, and obtaining of the Niramaya Health Card
  2. Hitarth Sahayaks will provide crucial support in navigating the claim processes, ensuring that more people can benefit with necessary and needed services through the insurance.

With our “HITARTH” initiative VOSAP aims to bring better health and services to the lives of 10,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities as part of a pilot program in 1 year with aim to scale to 1,00,000 beneficiaries under the program.

With enhanced access to healthcare facilitated by “HITARTH” the financial burden on families and individuals for medical expenses is expected to significantly reduce while also improving the quality of life with physiotherapy, speech therapy, etc.

By facilitating the expanded uptake of the Niramaya scheme, (maybe for every eligible IDD in India) we aim to create a scalable WIN-WIN situation and an example for many other programs that are not being effective in getting the desired outcomes.

Project HITARTH represents an important step towards addressing the challenges faced by IDDs and the collaborative efforts of VOSAP and PARIVAAR NCPO to create a more inclusive and equitable society where every individual is supported and empowered to lead a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Leave a Reply