October 24, 2017 04:00 AM NPT
By: Yogesh Rawal
TIKAPUR, Oct 23: Ninety-three years old Narpata Aauji of Tikapur Municipality-9 was elated to receive the elderly citizens' allowance at her own home this time. Earlier, she had to reach the office of the then Dhansingpur VDC to get the allowance. She had to find some to accompany her to the VDC office and then stay in long queue. Sometimes she even had to spend the whole day waiting for her turn.
However, she was not the only one who had to go through so much trouble as there were hundreds of elderly people like her. Despite their illness and disability, elderly people had to walk to the VDC office for the allowance.
Some had to be carried by their children. Although the government had introduced the allowance for the welfare of the senior citizens, they had to struggle a lot for the little amount.
“The happiness of getting the allowance used to fade away by the time we reached the office due to the difficulty we had to face on the way,” said Narpata, adding, “I have been receiving this allowance since a long time but this is the first time I felt so happy about getting it.”
Considering the difficulties faced by the elderly people, most of the candidates during the recently held local elections had pledged to deliver senior citizens' allowance at their homes.
As per the pledges, the first meeting of the executive committee of the municipality decided deliver the promises made during the election. Ward no 9 was the first ward to implement this plan.
“We can't expect these old people to come so far for the little amount when it's difficult for them even to get out of their bed,” said Lok Bahadur Budha, secretary of Dhansinghpur.
The secretary of ward no 9 himself reached the doorsteps of the locals to distribute allowance before Tihar so that no elderly had to beg for money with anyone. This created great pressure for other wards to distribute the allowance.
According to Chet Bahadur Bohora, chief of the Social Security Department, there are altogether 6,890 people in the district who are eligible for various kinds of allowances. As per the officials of Tikapur, providing allowances at the doorsteps has been really challenging due to lack of manpower.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare has urged the municipality to distribute allowance through bank. But people lament that the process of bank is very lengthy and hectic. This has put the municipality in dilemma on what to do. Officials are holding meetings and discussions on how to distribute allowance in the future.