KOMARAM BHEEM: Many elderly Adivasis are waiting for their applications to get the nod for availing old-age pension benefits as they were earlier rejected with the officials stating ‘under age’ though they had crossed the eligible age to get pensions.
Many of them were happy when Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced that the state government would release new pensions soon and these elderly people pinned hopes that their applications will be considered, this time around.
It may be recalled that the government was also trying to cut down the age of eligibility to 58 years from 65 and data was collected from the ground.
The age of many illiterate Adivasis was mistakenly registered as being less than the actual one in Aadhar cards though they have crossed 65 age and many of them are between 70 and 80 years.
Many of them, including women, were shocked that they were denied pension and their efforts to explain to officials went in vain.
Revenue officials registered the age of Adivasi as per their wish since many were illiterates and had no birth certificates.
Atram Lethu of Token Movad of Kerameri mandal said he was denied pension though his age was over 65 years.
‘I was fed up after repeated appeals to officials for sanction of pension’, said Lethu and added that the state government should take this age-related technical problem into consideration while issuing new pensions’.
There are many such people among the Adivasis who were denied their rightful old-age pension.
The old-age pension (Asara) of Rs 2, 016 would be a great help to them to meet their day-to-day expenses.