“I have not received old age pension for the last six months and I have no money to buy even medicines. I am living on what other people give me out of charity,” said Sakamma, aged around 90, who finds it difficult to move even with the help of a walking stick.
She was among several people from the Mahalakshmi Layout constituency who have not received old age, widow or disability pensions for between six months and a year, who addressed a press conference here on Tuesday. They alleged that the “faulty verification process” had robbed many eligible people of their only source of subsistence.
Fifty-year-old Padma, who is disabled, suffers from cancer, and has a husband who is paralysed waist down, showed prescriptions from Kidwai Hospital and said: “I have had to compromise on my medicines because I buy them with my pension money.”
MLA of the constituency, N.L. Narendra Babu, claimed that about 8,000 bona fide beneficiaries in his area alone had not been receiving pensions for months now. “If such is the situation in Bangalore, it is hard to imagine how it would be in rural areas.”
He said that anganwadi workers, entrusted with the task of verifying huge number of pension holders, had not carried it out meticulously. “The verification notices were thrown into the houses and there was no effort to find each pension beneficiary and verify the claim,” he said.
There were also instances of applications not being processed despite being submitted several times to Nemmadi Kendras, he said. Some people, whose applications were accepted, were not getting the money, he added.
“The whole system reeks of irresponsibility and unaccountability,” said Mr. Babu, adding that the endless political drama in the State had taken the attention away from real issues like social security schemes. Those denied pensions will hold a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office on Friday demanding justice.