₹2,500 COVID relief eludes woman due to ‘online glitch’

Medics and family members of COVID-19 victims at Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Fifty-year-old Anita’s (name changed) life turned upside down on May 15 when her husband died at a city hospital after testing COVID-19 positive.

As the homemaker began to recover from the shock, she realised that the family’s only income was her father-in-law’s pension. She was left with a question: How will she look after her two ailing in-laws and two daughters.

So, when Anita heard about the Delhi government’s COVID-19 compensation in the first week of August, she was relieved.

Though she has received a one-time compensation of ₹50,000 last week, she has not been able to apply for the monthly compensation of ₹2,500, which is part of the same scheme.

Despite numerous attempts to apply online in the past one month, four visits to government offices, calls to multiple helpline numbers, and an email to the Chief Minister, she is yet to be able to apply for the scheme, due a purported glitch in the online system.

Not mapped

Whenever she tries to enter her details on the online portal, it displays a message that “your locality has been disabled or not mapped by the Social Welfare Department”.

“Both my daughters are still studying and my in-laws have ailments. I’m the only caregiver. After writing to my younger daughter’s school, they have waived off her fees for now and I’m really thankful to them for that,” Ms. Anita said.

“Luckily we have a house and don’t have to pay rent. I’m an engineer, but haven’t been working since 2015 and now I’m looking for a job. Hopefully, I will find one soon, but some money would be really helpful at this point,” she said.

Though she has got ₹50,000 after applying online, as per government rules she has to apply separately for the monthly relief, as it is handled by a different department, and go through the verification process again.

“I went to the SDM Kalkaji office thrice and and they referred me to the district information officer in Lajpat Nagar SDM office. On visiting the officer concerned there, he told me that it’s a problem with the social welfare department and I need to visit them. Now where all will I go? I tried two helpline numbers, but they said they did not know why it was happening,” she said.

Ms. Anita has written to the Chief Minister’s Office on September 14, but is yet to get a solution. When contacted, a district official said that they will take it up with the Social Welfare Department. The Delhi government spokesperson did not respond to queries.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 11:37:19 AM |

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