Specially-abled persons, elderly people hit roads in Kupwara over delay in pension payments

Kupwara, Feb 13: Specially-abled and elderly persons on Tuesday protested in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district against concerned authorities for failing to provide them with a monthly pension for the last several months.

While protesting in front of the DC office, they said that hundreds of people in Kupwara including old age persons, persons with disabilities, widows and divorcees have not received monthly pension of Rs 1000 for the last 9 months thus making their life miserable.

The protesters said that they were forced to move from one government office to another to get requisite documents such as domicile certificate, age certificate, Aadhaar and disability certificate to register them on SUGAM portal to avail the social welfare pension scheme.

A physically disabled person who was part of the protest said that he was unable to buy medicines due to lack of money. “I along with other persons have completed all the formalities but still we have been deprived of the pension. We have been moving between the Social Welfare Department and Bank for the last several months but every time we return with empty hands,” Mushtaq Ahmad, a protestor said.

“We are struggling for our survival, but the concerned authorities seem to be insensitive regarding our hardships. For years we were demanding enhancement of pension from Rs 1000 to Rs 3000 but instead of enhancing financial assistance, authorities have stopped the meagre assistance,” he added.

The protesters demanded implementation of Disability e Act at the earliest so that they can avail their rights. “Since most of the specially abled persons struggle with regard to earning their livelihood, still we are forced to pay over seven hundred monthly electricity bills which has made things worse for us. Earlier we would pay Rs 320 per month but paying Rs 780 is impossible for us. Government must consider providing us free electricity, water and a substantial free ration,” said another protestor.

They have appealed to authorities to provide them with a monthly pension without further delay so that the hardships being faced by them may end.


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