Kozhikode

Welfare pensioners come together to claim their due

They allege that officials are finding baseless excuses to deny pensions to rightful people, besides listing many of them as ‘dead’

Balan Kattungal has been ‘dead’ for more than seven months. So, he decided to play the part. With his nose plugged with cotton and body wrapped in a white shroud, he excelled in the role of the corpse, while his differently-abled fellow welfare beneficiaries demanded that their pensions be reinstated.

At S.K. Square at Mananchira in Kozhikode on Saturday, many people who were denied welfare pensions for one or the other reason came together demanding that their pensions be reinstated with retrospective effect. Many of them have been listed dead by the authorities. While Mr. Balan and P.G. Gopalan are recorded as dead, R.C. Mohammed, who does not even have a proper road to his house, has a car in his pension records and hence does not deserve a pension. Yet another protester has been recorded as having a lorry.

“There are more than 3,600 people who have been recorded ‘dead’ in the pensioners’ list in the district. There are no less than 1,600 such people in Kozhikode Corporation alone,” said Alikkutty Aramba, State president of Handicapped Welfare Association. The protesters said that officials had been finding baseless excuses to deny pensions to rightful people, and that the government was being misled by officials who did not conduct proper inquiry to determine the assets of pension beneficiaries.

“I have not received my pension for the last seven months. When I approached officials, I was told that it will eventually be credited to my account. But later, I came to know that I was ‘dead’ in the records,” said Mr. Balan, who has submitted a petition to the Mayor pointing out that he is indeed alive.

“We want to be back on the pension roll and get our pension arrears,” said Madavoor Sainudeen, State secretary of Kerala Vikalanga Association.

The pension for the differently-abled is ₹1,100 per month.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 5:57:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/welfare-pensioners-come-together-to-claim-their-due/article24958493.ece

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