NAUPADA: Hetaram Satnami, a physically challenged man who lives in a remote village in Odisha's Nuapada district, had to travel 2 km every month through a dense forest to collect his government pension.
This month, however, he did not have to face the ordeal as a drone came with the cash and dropped it at his house in Bhutkapada village in Bhaleswar panchayat area.
"The sarpanch sent the money with the help of a drone. It's a big relief for me as the panchayat office is over 2 km away from the village, which is surrounded by a dense forest," said a beaming Satnami, who is a beneficiary of the state's Madhu Babu Pension Yojana.
Sarpanch Saroj Agarwal said she bought a drone online after getting to know about Satnami's ordeal.
"In our panchayat area, there is a village located in the forest, Bhutkapada. A physically-challenged man, Hetaram Satanami, lives in that village. He can't move, since birth," Agarwal said.
"I enrolled him for the pension under the state scheme. I have seen how things are sent through drones in other countries. That's why I placed the order for a drone and got the money delivered to his doorstep," she said.
Subadar Pradhan, the block development officer (BDO) of Nuapada, said it was made possible with Agarwal's own initiative as the government does not have the provision to buy such devices to deliver services.
Drones are being used across the world to deliver different goods, including medicines, parcels, groceries and food, but delivering cash, that too in India, is a first-of-a-kind initiative.