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Pension ordeal haunts the elderly

Pension ordeal haunts the elderly
Highlights

Chaos reigned at the Mandal Parishad Primary School in Moula Ali on Tuesday where many senior citizens were injured in a dash to collect their monthly pensions for January. Most of the pensioners who reside in Moula Ali, Old Malkajgiri and Safilguda say that this is regular feature due to mismanagement and high-handedness of the officials.

For the past few months, senior citizens who come to collect pension at the disbursement centre in Moula Ali have been suffering due to mismanagement by the authorities. Brawls at the venue are common and many pensioners have been returning home empty-handed

Chaos reigned at the Mandal Parishad Primary School in Moula Ali on Tuesday where many senior citizens were injured in a dash to collect their monthly pensions for January. Most of the pensioners who reside in Moula Ali, Old Malkajgiri and Safilguda say that this is regular feature due to mismanagement and high-handedness of the officials.

The pensioners complain that the disbursement office opens only at 11 am and a single person officiates the proceedings. “The employee who hands out pension goes for lunch for two hours and then leaves office by 4 pm. We on the other hand have to wait for long hours in the queue. We come by 7 am and wait for the whole day without having food. Even after this ordeal, we are not assured of the pension grant. Many are often told to head to other offices for their pension.

A physically challenged pensioner waiting along with his mother

Everything here is a mess. There are many who haven’t received pension for over 6 months,” moaned Ramana, a retired government servant. Another pensioner Mhd. Jabbar adds, “At least three more employees should be posted to handle the pensioners as about 300 people visit this centre daily. The anxious pensioners usually rush to the cash counter to collect their pension which leads to chaos.

In fact on Tuesday, a pensioner was severely injured after his hand got stuck to a door while many rushed to collect their money. The cops are not of much help to control the crowd and they leave in a short time. The only solace we receive is through some Good Samaritans who supply us water and have erected a tent to save us from the scorching heat.”

The queue at the centre

Suguna (45), a physically challenged pensioner, rued that she hasn’t received her monthly pension of Rs 500 since September last, despite submitting all the necessary documents as per the government’s check list. “I have been running from one office to the other to check my pension status for the past five months. I have been starving and have in fact started begging for food to survive. I have all the required documents with me.

I plead the authorities to at least grant my pension of Rs 500 first, leave alone the increased pension amount of Rs 1,500 by the Telangana government,” she lamented. Venkamma (80) complained that she hasn’t been receiving pension for the past eight months. “I am not sure if I will survive to collect my pension. I don’t have any children. I am alive only because neighbours offer me food and shelter,” she said.

One of the pensioners at the venue

Meanwhile, the pension employee official remained tight-lipped on the chaos at the centre but said that more that 200 people were handed over pension amounting to Rs 2,40,000 on Monday and over 150 people received pension on Tuesday to the extent of Rs 1,80,000.

By:Ch Saibaba

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