Trapped by a bandh they weren’t aware of
BENGALURU: Seventy-year-old Vishalamma came all the way to Bengaluru from Tumakuru to collect her monthly pension of Rs 600 from the post office at Ramakrishna Nagar. Little did she know that she would be a victim of the bandh. From morning till late afternoon, she spent more than seven hours on the benches at the platforms of Kempegowda Bus Station. Vishalamma was not the only one. The bandh caused inconvenience to thousands, especially senior citizens, many of whom were completely caught unawares of the bandh.
Vishalamma was a resident of Bengaluru till two months ago. As she was abandoned by her family, she shifted to Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru where she works as a helper in the kitchen. Under Sandhya Suraksha scheme, she is eligible for Rs 600 pension per mont. “After I shifted to Tumakuru, I am yet to shift my receiving post office to that place, I could not draw money for the last two months. Since I need money for medicines, I had to come to draw the money. I was told if I come early morning, there will be buses ... so I came at 8 am. But there are no buses,’’ she said.
Nalamma (80) came from Puttaparthi after an eye surgery. “We came by bus at 6 am without breakfast, and could not even take medicine. I have come to my daugther’s house to take one month’s rest. I had no idea of the bandh. The auto drivers are demanding more money, and we have to be here till evening,’’ she said.
Sanjay and Kalyani from West Bengal came looking for a job in Bengaluru. They got a job at a private firm at Jigani. “We paid `750 per person for the rail ticket and we left our place on Saturday. When we landed here, we got to know about the bandh. An auto driver demanded `900,’’ Kalyani said.