Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh: Lone woman gathers courage to fight against ‘denial of social benefits’

Outsourced employee N. Nagaveni staging a demonstration in Kadapa on Sunday.

Outsourced employee N. Nagaveni staging a demonstration in Kadapa on Sunday.

A physically challenged woman lost her social security pension as the records showed her deceased grandmother as a public servant. A woman lost her old-age pension as her daughter was a small-time outsourced employee. Similarly, the government stopped pension to a widowed, single woman living in a single-room portion as her son, living elsewhere, owned a land.

Taking cognisance of these instances, a lone woman has raised a banner of revolt against the system that is “bent on finding ways to eliminate beneficiaries, rather than being inclusive in its outreach.”

Social activist N. Nagaveni, employed with the State on outsourcing basis, staged a demonstration at the Gandhi statue in Kadapa on Sunday.

The issue hogged the limelight as it happened in the home district of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, indicating that “all is really not well.”

“The eligible are denied pension on frivolous grounds. They are not aware of the law and do not have the patience to run from pillar to post to get their due. My protest is for the sake of such people.”N. NagaveniOutsourced employee

“The eligible are denied pension on frivolous grounds. The beneficiaries are neither aware of the law, nor have the patience to run from pillar to post to get their due. My protest is for the sake of such people,” Ms. Nagaveni told The Hindu.

The records may be true, but several impoverished families are facing the official apathy, coupled with the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities.

‘Erroneous database’

“Apart from the absence of a humane approach, the issue here is the erroneous data the officials rely on,” she observed.

She pointed to one such gaffe where a widow was denied pension as the not-yet-updated records showed her husband as alive.

“I appeal to the government to thoroughly probe the official database,” she pleaded.

Ms. Nagaveni, who lives with her widowed mother and bedridden grandmother, is herself a victim.

The outsourced staffer gets ₹16,000 per month, of which ₹4,000 goes towards her grandmother’s cancer treatment.

The predicament

“Citing my employment as a government job, my mother’s widow pension of ₹2,500 has been cancelled. What kind of social security do we outsourced employees have when we are thrown out of service?” rued Ms. Nagaveni.

Her fellow employees stayed away from the protest for fear of incurring the government’s wrath, as they could lose their job at the proverbial drop of a hat.

Fearing trouble, the Kadapa Two Town police raised an objection and evacuated Ms. Nagaveni from the protest venue in a few hours.


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Printable version | Sep 16, 2022 2:04:49 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/andhra-pradesh-lone-woman-gathers-courage-to-fight-against-denial-of-social-benefits/article65740619.ece