Most in old age homes get no allowance for lack of papers

Published On: October 23, 2018 05:00 AM NPT By: SHUVAM DHUNGANA

KATHMANDU, Oct 23: Altogether 24 elderly citizens from various districts including Kathmandu are currently residing at Matatirtha Old Age Home Committee at Matatirtha of Chandragiri Municipality.

As per the government policy, senior citizens aged 65 and above are eligible for elderly citizen's allowance of Rs 2,000 per month. But only 24 residents of this old age home are getting their monthly allowance.

Similarly, at the old age home at Pashupatinath, there are around 170 senior citizens but only 25 of them have been enjoying the monthly allowance provided by the government.

Some municipalities provide additional allowances to the elderly. Kathmandu Metropolitan City, for instance, provides additional Rs 1,000 to men aged over 80 and women above 75.

According to Manoj Kumar Basnet, office chief at the Social Welfare Center at Pashupatinath, most of the elderly citizens residing there haven't been able to claim their allowances due to lack of necessary documents like citizenship certificates and migration certificate. Anyone who is not a permanent resident of Kathmandu needs to produce a migration certificate to claim the allowance from Kathmandu and many of the elderly at the Pashupati old age home were born outside Kathmandu and they don't have migration certificates.

According to Basnet, his office is working in coordination with the local bodies to provide the necessary papers to the elderly citizens so that no one is deprived of their elderly allowances.

Spokesperson of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Gyanendra Karki, said, "The government cannot provide the allowance to the elderly citizens if the latter are unable to produce official documents attesting to their age. But if the old age home can provide documents attesting to their age, then such elderly will be provided the allowance.”

According to Nur Nidhi Neupane, Social Welfare Chief of Kathmandu District Coordination Committee (DCC), the government distributes around Rs 600 million per year as elderly allowance in the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, where there are around 24,000 eligible recipients. The allowances are distributed every four months.

Earlier such allowance would be provided in cash but now it is deposited in the bank accounts of the recipients, according to Neupane.

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