MYAGDI, June 17: Elderly allowance provided by the government has been a great boon for many senior citizens who otherwise don't have enough money for medicines, food and various other expenses. A lot of elderly people who have been disrespected and isolated by their family members are sustaining their life with the help of allowance. This allowance has helped them live a dignified life without spreading hands in front of their estranged family members or relatives.
But, Bam Bahadur Ghartimagar of Malika Rural Municipality-5, Myagdi is still deprived of social security allowance even after being eighty-one years. Though other locals like Bhim Bhadur Rana, Tek Bahadur Budhathoki among others take the privilege provided by government every four months, Ghartimagar has not yet been able to do so.
He has never received a penny from the government. While all the other elderly citizens of the village reach to the rural municipality office with excitement in order to take the social security allowance, he is busy looking after his sheep and doing household works.
“All of my friends get allowance but I have never been able to take this privilege. If it's for all elderly citizens then I must get it too,” Ghartimagar said. Ghartimagar, who can't even properly hear, informed that he had time and again complained about the allowance to the local authority but nothing has been done in his favor.
According to him, he had often reached to programs where elderly citizens are distributed allowance by the district administration but every time he had to return home empty handed. He was told that his name is not mentioned in the list. The government distributes around 3.5 million as social security allowance through the district coordination committees (DCC) in every four months in the district.
Sandip BK, who has been working as a social mobilizer in Devisthan since 2011 informed that Ghartimagar's name is not mentioned in the list of allowance seekers. “He has not yet received his allowance that may be also because most of the time he lives inside his shed,” said BK. As per the provision of the government, Ghartimagar should receive Rs 1000 as allowance and Rs 2000 for medicines and health treatment monthly. So, in a year he should receive a total amount of Rs 36,000.
Ghartimagar has been managing his medicines and other basic needs by seeking money from his relatives. He has a son who does not shown any concerns regarding the allowance of his father, according to the locals. Ghartimagar laments that the responsible authority has turned a blind eye to his problem even after being aware about it.
According to Ward Secretary Pritha Bahadur Thapamagar, there have been several talks and discussions being held regarding the problem of Ghartimagar. However, they were unable to solve his problem.
“As of now, I am out of the district but we are still working on his issue and he will soon be able to get his allowance,” Thapamagar said. In villages, many senior citizens are deprived of social security allowance in lack of awareness, absence of anyone to raise voice for them and also because of the carelessness of government officers.
Local level restructuring has brought representatives in local units as well which has made it easier for the locals to share their problems and miseries in order to get solutions. Shree Prasad Rokka, chief of Malika Rural Municipality has directed the government officers to properly distribute social security allowance and also find out the list of eligible people who have not been mentioned in the list.