Special Correspondent

Government urged to increase the pension given to the poor

3,000 applications for Ashraya houses are yet to be cleared `TB sanatorium at Pilikula is facing the treat of closure'

MANGALORE: Badavara Hakkugala Andolana, a non-governmental organisation here, will start a movement to restore facilities to the poor in Mangalore.

Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, convener of the movement Dinesh Pai Kateel said the pension schemes for the poor provide only Rs. 100 a month, which comes to Rs. 3.33 a day. The pension provided to mentally disabled people is Rs. 125 a month, which is inadequate, he added.

Urging the Government to make provisions to raise the pension to a minimum of Rs. 500 , Mr. Pai said the State Budget should make provisions in this regard. He said the Government's stipulation that only those people whose annual income is less than Rs. 6,000 will be included under the below the poverty line category is unreasonable and the bar should be raised to Rs. 20,000. He said 3,000 applications for Ashraya houses are yet to be cleared. Outlining the poor health cover for the underprivileged, he said health centres are being closed down and even the TB sanatorium at Pilikula is facing the treat of closure.

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