Long-drawn process of applying for pension forces senior citizens to beg

Source: Daily new and Analysis

The tedious and traumatising process to get a meagre social security coverage has forced many senior citizens of the country to beg on roads. In addition, a number of senior citizens are left alone to die on city streets due to insufficient number geriatrics care centre and old age homes. The tales of their woes, however, sound quite similar in different parts of the country.

Samabai Kharat from Maharashtra was living with her son and daughter-in-law, but was forced to work as a ragpicker. She filed a police complaint against her son, but that hasn’t helped. Samabai now spends her days begging outside the local dargah as she is not eligible for the social security pension provided by the state government.

Similarly Baida Gaikwad, who lives with her husband and has no children to look after them, is unable to cook which leads her to skipping meals more often than not. Detected with cancer last year, she is unable to go to the hospital for chemotherapy as she cannot manage to get there alone. She does not have even the money to put together all the papers required to apply for the social security pension. In order to get the pension, she needs an age certificate that is provided only on specific days at the District Hospital. She also needs an income certificate for it, but she feels it is next to impossible to get her income certified by the Tehsildar.

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