Elderly get just Rs 200 as pension, seek hike

Pitiable amount of Rs 200 a month as pension, that too, to only one crore out of the total 10 crore poor senior citizens, goes against rights guaranteed in the constitution, say social activists

GN Bureau | May 5, 2016


#social security   #Aadhaar   #government   #elderly   #pension   #Aruna Roy  

Pained by the government's apathy towards revising decades old monthly pension of Rs 200, 125 elderly citizens associated with Pension Parishad will be sending a day's pension, Rs 7, to prime minister Narendra Modi – protesting against the priorities of his government. The parishad was founded in 2012 to fight for the rights of the elderly.
"As the parliamentarians discuss about doubling their monthly salary, we hope that the contribution of a day’s pension by the poor elderly will shame the government and the lawmakers, forcing them to think of the plight of the pensioners," said 80-year old Baba Adhav of the parishad, at a conference held in New Delhi.
 
It is interesting to note that under Indira Gandhi national old age pension scheme, the pension amount of Rs 200 for elderly between 60 and 69 and Rs 300 for elderly between 70 and 79 has not been revised since 2007. The scheme, moreover, covers only one crore senior citizens, although, say social activists citing 2011 census data, the actual number of elderly, with no or low income, is around 10 crore. It means that close to 9 crore senior citizens do not get any pension.
 
The parishad demanded that the government should provide a dignified amount, of Rs 2,000, or half of the minimum wage, to all 10 crore elderly populace.
 
Taking a jibe at the government, social Activist Aruna Roy said, "Given the government's resolve to provide enhanced resources to hike the salaries and pensions of parliamentarians and officials, this contribution from the poor may go a long way in supporting the PM in realising his priorities."
 
HelpAge India CEO Mathew Cherian, who has been appointed as amicus curiae to look into the plight of poor elderly by the CJI Justice TS Thakur, said, "We will be witnessing a humanitarian crisis of huge proportion , if the government didn't wake up to the unacceptable levels of distress that elderly people are experiencing and demonstrate both political and administrative will to [ensure] both universal old age pension and health insurance for all."
 
Cherian will submit his report to the SC in June. He said that the indifference of the government goes against Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) and Article 41 (right to public assistance) of the constitution.  
 
Seven to eight states have increased the pension amount. Goa provides Rs 2,000. Haryana and Delhi provide Rs 1,500.
 
The parishad has repeatedly highlighted the plight of senior citizens and now senior citizens from across 11 states have come to Delhi’s Jantar Mantar to stage their protest. This was the 16th parliamentary session when we have staged a protest but the governments are yet to take cognizance, said Dey.  “We will continue to protest during every session of the parliament till our demands are taken seriously by the government,” he said.
The activists also raised concerns related to the government’s drive to make Aadhaar biometric authentication mandatory for social welfare schemes, including pensions. The fingerprints of the elderly people, especially those coming from the working class, the unorganised sector, get blurred and hence Aadhaar based disbursal poses a great risk of exclusion, said activist Usha Ramanathan, who was present during the press meet.

Comments

 

Other News

Kerala’s Industrial and Commercial Policy: A case for collaboration, consultation

In 2014, the Ministry of Law and Justice published India’s ‘Pre-Legislative Consultation Policy’ or PLCP, a landmark policy that outlined a process and recommendations for lawmaking, through the incorporation of public participation and opinion. In 2024, we mark a decade of this policy, w

Elections 2024: Why Mumbai and Maharashtra verdict is crucial

In the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, Maharashtra with 48 Lok Sabha seats is of crucial importance for the final outcome. In the 2019 election, the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance won 42 seats including six seats in Mumbai, as well as one each in Thane, Kalyan, Bhiwandi, and Palghar, which fall in the Mumbai Metropol

Jammu-Kashmir makes indelible mark on electoral history

In a massive stride for India’s electoral polity, Jammu and Kashmir has registered its highest poll participation in the last 35 years in the General Elections of 2024. The Combined Voter Turnout (VTR) at the polling stations for the entire union territory, which has 5 Lok Sabha seats

New study tracks heat wave; exposes dangerous trends in big cities

An unprecedented heat wave has been enveloping Indian cities, worsening the urban heat island effect, this summer. A new analysis by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) says there are far deeper and longer term evidences on the nature of this changing trend that is impacting the biggest cities of the

Phase 6: Voter turnout 59.06% at 7:45 PM

Polling in the sixth phase of General Elections 2024 which commenced across 58 PCs recorded an approximate voter turnout of 59.06% as of 7:45 pm Saturday. In spite of hot weather in certain parts of the country, voters were undeterred in their enthusiasm as they were seen queuing up patient

Banks not adhering to RBI guidelines, finds study

Banks across India are levying inconsistent service charges on basic savings accounts. A study, “Benchmarking Reasonableness of Service Charges by Banks in India”, uncovers and exposes inconsistencies in adherence to RBI mandates by banks. It finds some banks impose charges exceeding reasonable

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter