ANANTAPUR: Senior citizen Sheik Amminabi of Gandhi Chowk in Uravakonda had been drawing widow pension for the past 11 years before it stopped in August. Baffled, the hapless woman went around from village panchayat to mandal revenue office to get the pension restored. Recently, she received a more baffling reply: widow pension could not be disbursed to a 16-year-old girl! Now 67, Amminabi had been receiving the widow pension ever since her husband SK Qasim’s death in 2011. Recently, officials found that her year of birth, according to Aadhaar details, was 2005.
They calculated her present age, and stopped the pension. Officials, reportedly, did not check how Amminabi became eligible for widow pension from the age of 5. After her appeal, the village secretariat officials found that her year of birth was entered wrong in the Aadhaar document. “How can they do this to me? I am a widow, with no one to care for me and the government’s widow pension has been the main source of income,” she lamented.
When her efforts to convince officials to restore her widow pension went in vain, she took it to the notice of the tahsildar, who reportedly asked her to get the Aadhaar corrected. She went to the Aadhaar centre, where Amminabi was informed that the age could be corrected only if the difference was three years. But in her case, it was more than 40 years and hence, not possible to change it. Her actual date of birth is January 1, 1954, which puts her present age at 67.
“For the past two months, I have not been given my pension. They say that my date of birth on my Aadhaar card has been given as 2005 and going by that my age is 16. How can it be? I asked Mee Seva officials and they say changing it now is not possible. For someone else’s mistake, why should I be made a scapegoat,” Amminabi wondered. When contacted, Manohar, welfare assistant in Uravakonda told TNIE that though the change could not be made with the signature of MRO, they have brought the application to the notice of RDO and got his signature and forwarded the same to UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) to make the necessary changes. The officials are awaiting confirmation.