Over 55 women aged between 70 and 105 years thronged the Collectorate here on Monday pleading regular disbursal of old age pension.
A majority of women, who could not walk without a stick, had travelled around 50 km from Koothampatti village, in Pachamalaiyankottai panchayat in Nilakottai block to meet the Collector during the grievance day meeting. They stated that bankers had made them run from pillar to post to receive their monthly pension.
All these petitioners did not get old age pension for the past three to four months.
A bank branch at Michaelpalayam, three km away from Koothampatti, has been disbursing the pension to them, they pointed out. Whenever, they contacted the bank, the officials told that money was not deposited in their account, they claimed. “Come after sometime” was their regular reply,” alleged Nalla Thangal (102). “When we press them, they ask us to come to the bank often and check the balance. How can we go to the bank daily to check our account?”
Majority of these women were highly disappointed over poor response from the banker. “We do not get proper reply,” charged Rajammal. When the police intercepted them at the entrance, many were highly puzzled and struggled to explain their pathetic condition. Some innocently stated that they wished to meet the Collector ‘Aiyya’ for pension.
On seeing these old women with petitions, Collector N. Venkatachalam blasted the officials for their inaction and instructed them to take steps to disburse the OAP to them immediately. The district has been disbursing monthly pension to around 65,000 beneficiaries in the district under Social Welfare Scheme. Initially, the OAP was disbursed to beneficiaries through post offices. Later, the pension was disbursed through nationalised banks. The monthly pension has been deposited in their savings accounts.