Andhra Pradesh

Kidney patients left out of pension scheme look to govt. support

Helpless: Kidney patients undergoing dialysis at Sompeta in Srikakulam district.

Helpless: Kidney patients undergoing dialysis at Sompeta in Srikakulam district.   | Photo Credit: BASHEER

With no capacity to repay, they have no access to small hand loans

Thousands of kidney patients, who have been shattered financially, are unable to gain access to small hand loans in the Uddanam region of the district as villagers are hesitant to extend them a helping hand, and those wanting to launch self-employment schemes are unable to get loans from the banks.

Normally, family members come to the rescue of those in distress. But, this is not happening in the Uddanam region as more than two persons are affected by the disease.

In this background, the patients are eagerly waiting for a helping hand from the government.

The pension of ₹2,500 per month being given by the government is restricted to those who are on dialysis support. Hardly, 10,000 fall under this category.

The patients who are in the first, second, and third stages of the disease are not eligible to draw pension. They are seeking support from the government as they need to spend more than ₹5,000 on medicines every month.

Lola Atchamma, a patient from Deppuru village of Vajrapukotturu mandal, has been leading a pathetic life after the death of her husband Lokanatham. She has no source of income as her property had be sold long ago to meet the expenses of treatment.

Similar is the fate of K. Suryalekhamma of Pasupuram in Itchhapuram. Poverty has forced her to stop taking medicines.

P. Satyam, a labourer, of Barlaputtuga village is not in a position to work because of the kidney problem.

“I am not able to gain access to small loans from neighbours because I do not have the repaying capacity. The government should relax norms and extend financial assistance to save my family,” he says.

Minister for BC Welfare K. Atchannaidu told The Hindu that the government was extending financial assistance to the patients who needed dialysis support.

‘Govt. doing its best’

“Compared to the previous governments, we are trying our best to extend full support to the kidney patients. Establishment of new dialysis centres in Sompeta and Palasa are a step in that direction. But it is not possible to extend the pension scheme to patients in the preliminary stage,” he said.

YSR Congress Party’s Palasa in charge S. Appala Raju, who staged relay hunger strike recently, has asked the government to extend support to all the patients as they are not in a position to make both ends meet because they lack immunity.

“The government should pay at least ₹10,000 per month as pension to all the patients. Measures such as establishment of research centre may help the next generation. They will not provide any relief to the patients now,” he reasons.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 1:42:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/kidney-patients-left-out-of-pension-scheme-look-to-govt-support/article19920217.ece

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