KOCHI: The city Corporation’s direction to widows to submit a self-declaration affidavit for availing of pension has left hundreds of widow pensioners in the lurch.
According to the Welfare Standing Committees decision, 15,265 widow pensioners will have to submit a self-declaration form, stating that they have not married again and that they are eligible for receiving pension, directly to the Corporation office. The move, however, has put the elderly in a quandary as they fear the non-submission of affidavit may result in them not getting the pension before Christmas.
Officers said they have only received 2,200 self-declaration affidavits. “I am not in a position to go and submit a self-declaration form owing to my physical condition. If we fail to get this small pension on time, it will be difficult for us,” said a 75-year-old mother who did not wish to be identified. Meanwhile, the Opposition councillors alleged the lethargic attitude of the Corporation led to such a state. “The government had started the drive last year itself as part of plan to exclude unqualified pensioners from the list. But the Corporation sat on it,” said V P Chandran, Opposition councillor.
“In order to avoid the rush, we have entrusted the zonal office to collect the Adhaar and affidavits from the widows. They can submit the same till December 29,” said A B Sabu, Welfare Committee chairperson.