BHUBANESWAR: Divorcee Muslim women, particularly from the poorer sections, are left in the lurch without getting their monthly pension since over 20 months now.
The Government has stopped disbursal of the monthly pension to 616-odd divorcee women since February, 2014. With repeated representations and appeals for resumption of the pension falling on deaf ears, the hapless women have now knocked the doors of Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC). They have also decided to launch an agitation in the Capital City against the Government apathy to their plight.
The 616 divorced women had been granted monthly pension of `400 each on the basis of the decree of the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) under the Muslim Women Protection Rights on Divorce Act, 1986. The court had directed the Government to pay the monthly maintenance in 2007 and the amount was deposited in their bank accounts from September, 2008.
However, the payment was stopped by the Law Department from February, 2014. The pensioners alleged that it was done without showing any reason or explanation. They have been running from pillar to post for their pension but to no avail.
“These women are not educated or belong to upper class sections, who can lead their lives on their own. These are women from the bottom rung of the society who have been ditched by their husbands and have nowhere to go. For them, the maintenance amount is a major source of sustenance, which they got after years of struggle. Deprived of the amount since 20 months, these women are leading lives like destitutes in absolute misery,” secretary of Talaki Mahila Sahayata Samiti Sk Asfaque Ali, who spearheads the movement for maintenance of divorcee women, said.
The women have got the decree from court for maintenance and the Government has no right to stop it. “We have filed a petition with OHRC and will also launch agitation if the Government is still blind to our plight,” Ali added.