Monday, 30th October 2017

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Pension backlog pain

Special children wait for govt money to reach them

By Praduman Choubey in Dhanbad
  • Published 7.04.20, 1:04 AM
  • Updated 7.04.20, 1:04 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Special kids at speech therapist Akhlaque Ahmad’s (in red t-shirt) house in Jharia on Monday. Picture by Shabbir Hussain

The 21-day lockdown has crippled homes which have special kids entitled to Swami Vivekananda Nishakt Swalamban Protsahan Yojna pension that has not reached them for months.

Hasina Khatoon, 65, a resident of Singh Nagar of Jharia in Dhanbad, was somehow managing with the meagre income of her daily wage earner son Imtiyaz Ansari, 38, till March 21. But soon after the lockdown was declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, her world came crashing down.

Khatoon has a grandson, Sajjad Ansari, 12, with cerebral palsy. According to her, the child has not been getting the disability pension of

Rs 1,000 per month.

Under the Swami Vivekananda Nishakt Swalamban Protsahan Yojna scheme, disabled persons living in Jharkhand are given encouragement allowance of Rs 1,000 per month in the form of pension if they fulfil a few criteria.

Once the lockdown was implemented, Khatoon whose family of six — that includes son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren, including Sajjad — had to run the family on their meagre savings.

Once the savings exhausted and son Imtiyaz’s earnings stopped, Khatoon had only one means of income — her grandson’s disability pension.

She went to speech therapist and special educator Akhalaque Ahmad’s resource centre in Jharia — that trains special kids — on Monday to inquire if there was any hope of getting the pension for the child or not.

Khatoon said: “My son Imtiyaz used to earn around Rs 300 per day with which we could somehow eke out a living for the family and I used to send my grandson to the resource centre of the education department in Jharia, where tutoring and training were provided to him for free. But Sajjad didn’t get any pension in the last eight months.”

She added: “Had the government released the pension for Sajjad at this time of crisis it would have been of great help to us because we could have procured enough food for us.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Satyendra Verma, 40, a daily wage earner residing at Chauthai Kulhi in Dhanbad, said: “My cerebral palsy affected son, Sonu Verma, 16, who is also enrolled at the Jharia resource centre, has not received pension for the past seven months. We demand immediate release of his pension so that our family facing extreme difficult times could get some relief.”

Additional director (social security) Anuj Bando said: “Allotment from the state government for disability pension is pending since January. But the allotment has now arrived and we have started the process to release the pensions. If any specific complaint is made regarding non-disbursement of pension with Aadhaar details we will try to sort it out on priority basis.”