National

Senior citizens face hardships to collect social security benefit

- MENUKA DHUNGANA, ACHHAM

Feb 27, 2019-

Senior citizens in Achham district have to face hassles while collecting their social security allowance due to the cumbersome and time consuming bank procedures, and long-distance travel to the district headquarters.

“I have been standing in this queue for several hours now,” said 76-year-old Nare Dholi of Mangalsain-7 who was at Janata Bank in Achham to withdraw his social security allowance. “I am too old to stand for such a long time. And on top of that, I have to travel for the entire day to reach the district headquarters from my village.”

In the past, employees from the Village Development Committee would travel to the villages and distribute social security allowance to eligible elderly citizens, but under the new system, ‘receivers’ are asked to visit the banks to collect their allowance.

“The previous system was convenient for us even though we used to receive a lump sum amount every four months,” said Dholi.

Gore Damai, 74, of Janali Bandali in Mangalsain-6 also has a similar ordeal to share. “I don’t know anything about the banking system. How am I supposed to receive money in it?” asked Damali.

Some senior citizens in the bank were found standing in line with the help of their walking sticks while some had to be carried all the way from their respective villages given their advanced age. For senior citizens above the age of 90, travelling to and from the bank to collect their allowance is physically impossible, locals say. Ambha KC, a senior citizen of Mangalsain-4, demanded that the local units make arrangements for senior citizens to receive their  allowance in their own villages.

As per the government’s latest plan for disbursement of social security allowance, eligible senior citizens must have bank accounts. Senior citizens above 70 are entitled to receive Rs 2,000 a month as social security allowance.

Published: 27-02-2019 08:43

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