Andhra Pradesh

Rain troubles old age pensioners

Old age pensions waiting for their turn at the panchayat office at Satyavedu in Chittoor district on Sunday.

Old age pensions waiting for their turn at the panchayat office at Satyavedu in Chittoor district on Sunday.  

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Talk of some beneficiaries being deleted from list adds to their woes

Old age pensioners had a tough time on Sunday as heavy rain in several parts of Chittoor district made them to stand in queue lines for long at various panchayat offices. Distribution of pension to the beneficiaries was delayed for several hours following downpour in the eastern mandals.

Generally, beneficiaries would start gathering at their respective venues from 8.00 am onwards, coming in batches. However, being Sunday coupled with downpour and delay in the arrival of the staff, it led to confusion among the elderly.

At Satyavedu, the pensioners formed a big queue lines under umbrellas. At some places in Varadaiahpalem mandal, the halls were jampacked with the pensioners. The rush of pensioners at the first hour was believed to be due to fears among them that their names were deleted from the list of beneficiaries. The hectic activity of gram and ward volunteers in hundreds of villages and in municipal areas interacting with the households and beneficiaries and asking them about details of Aadhar cards and ration cards and jibbing down some notes made the elderly doubtful about the pensions.

Doubts over pension

Several pensioners, mostly women, were seen standing in the queue lines. At Satyavedu, a 70-year-old woman, who stays with her daughter at Nagari, would visit the pension distribution venue on first of every month. Sometimes, she would visit the place once in two months. “A week ago, I got several calls from volunteers, saying that they want to verify her Aadhar card number and ration card details. As I stay at Nagari, I said I would come on first of December. Then there was no reply. For about a week, I was tense with doubts that my pension might have been cancelled. Now, I collected two months of pension,” she said. Similar cases dominated at the pension distribution centres elsewhere in the district.

A Tehsildar of an eastern mandal observed that it was unfortunate that some persons were creating unnecessary doubts among the elderly people about social pension benefits. He said that the pensioners should immediately approach the volunteers of their respective areas whenever they would get prank calls, asking for their details and calling them at odd hours.

Though the rain led to delay in distribution of pensions, all the beneficiaries could return without any grumbling. They felt that it was their mistake to entertain doubts.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 4:07:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/rain-troubles-old-age-pensioners/article30131174.ece

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