A 60-year-old woman had to drag her 100-year-old mother on a cot to a bank in Odisha for physical verification to withdraw Rs 500 from her Jan Dhan Yojana account.
The Utkal Grameen Bank branch in Baragaon, Nuapada district, had allegedly insisted that the Rs 500 monthly allowance, announced for women from April to June under the Jan Dhan scheme to tide over the lockdown, would be released only after physical verification.
On Monday, the branch manager was suspended.
In a media release, the Odisha government said: “Ajit Kumar Padhan, branch manager of Utkal Gramya Bank, Baragaon Branch, Nuapada, has been placed under suspension. It was reported that Padhan insisted on the physical presence of a 100-year-old lady Labhe Bag for withdrawal of money from her Jan Dhan Account.'
Labhe’s daughter Punjimatee (60 years) was compelled to present her mother in the bank by dragging her on a cot. This unfortunate incident was taken seriously by the state government and the chairman of the UGB was requested on Sunday to take stern action after due enquiry. Based on the request, the bank authorities immediately suspended Padhan, pending disciplinary actions.”
The incident, which took place on June 9, came to light after a video of the woman dragging her bedridden mother on a cot to the bank was widely circulated on social media.
“After bank officials asked me that the money would be released to the account holder after physical verification, I had to carry her to the bank on a cot,” said Punjimatee Devi.
A senior government official said the manager should have gone to the woman’s house for the physical verification.
The bank’s shareholders are the Government of India (50 per cent), State Bank of India (35 per cent) and the government of Odisha (15 per cent).