Pending pension applications in Telangana leave many in dire straits

B. Kavitha lost her husband two years ago. Farmer of a small landholding in Turkapalli village of Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district, he killed himself over ever increasing mount of debts.

After her husband’s death, Kavitha got little relief from anywhere. Whatever little agricultural land property they had been cultivating, was on her father-in-law’s name, hence, they could get neither the insurance amount, nor any relief from the government.

“Thanks to the district Collector’s initiative, my son got admission in Kendriya Vidyalaya, though my daughter’s application has been rejected. I had to leave the cultivation to my brother-in-law and move to a rented house in the district headquarters for my son’s education. And to meet expenses, I have started working as supporting staff at AIIMS-Bibinagar,” Kavitha shares.

She has to shuttle between Bhuvanagiri and Bibinagar every day, and with the recent increase in bus fares, she is unable to match her income with expenditure.

“My application for widow pension was approved two years ago, but I am yet to get any benefit. Whenever I ask officials, they reply saying I would get it as soon as funds are sanctioned,” Kavitha says.

Kavitha is still a later applicant. Md. Shabana from the same village filed an application four years ago, as soon as her husband died of a heart attack at a marriage party.

“I have made repeated rounds of the mandal headquarters, but every time, they say the application has been approved but there are no funds,” the mother of two says.

As per the information obtained through an RTI application, a total 3,15,262 applications from across the State for various kinds of pensions are pending for the past four years. Of the applicants, 1,59,452 are widows, 64,749 are senior citizens, and 55,619 are disabled.

These apart, a whopping eight lakh applications for old age pension have been approved at the district level, after the government reduced the age criteria from 65 years to 57 years. They are yet to be forwarded to the State government.

As per the revised pensions in Telangana, senior citizens and widows with no other support are eligible for a pension of ₹ 2,016 per month, while persons with disabilities are entitled to a pension of ₹ 3,016 per month.

“Though there are several categories, the condition of widows, disabled and elderly is particularly pathetic. They have been on a long wait despite having their applications approved at both mandal and district levels. It is high time the government considered them positively, as they are as eligible as any of the people already drawing pensions,” says Kondal Reddy from Rythu Swarajya Vedika who obtained the information under RTI.

He also appeals that the applicants be given pension arrears calculated from the date of approval of their applications, as the delay is from the Treasury’s side.

Pensions are also being offered by the State government for toddy tappers, weavers, beedi workers, single women, HIV patients, and filaria patients.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 12:37:34 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/pending-pension-applications-in-telangana-leave-many-in-dire-straits/article65585622.ece