VELLORE: A septuagenarian woman fainted after standing for more than three hours in a serpentine queue after she was pulled down and trampled upon in a mad rush by other petitioners wishing to submit their petitions during the Public Grievance Day meeting at the Vellore Collectorate on Monday.
“Deivanai and six others from our village reached here around 8 am. We came here to submit petitions to restore the OAP for us. We stopped getting financial aid of Rs 1000 since last month,” said an elderly woman accompanying Deivanai. Deivanai was immediately transported to the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital at Adukkambarai in an ambulance.
“Without having food, we came here and we were standing in line without water for more than three hours,” said the elderly woman accompanying Deivanai.
The elderly woman, Deivanai of Puliyanthangal had come to petition the district administration to restore Old Age Pension under the Social Security Scheme (SSS). “These petitions are an eyewash. Nothing happens even after repeated petitions. The officials receiving the complaints do not take any action,” said 66 year-old Alexander from Arcot. Several elderly women and men from different parts of the district submitted petitions for revoking the cancellation orders issued against distribution of financial aid under SSS.
“I didn’t receive the OAP for two months. It is the only source of my livelihood. There is no one to take care of me after my husband’s death,” said Saroja, who was in her early 80s, a resident of Mettutheeru in Poondi. Many other elderly persons standing in the queue also said they did not receive OAP for the last few months.
R Kannan, a differently-abled man from Thakkarakuppam near Walajapet, was also one of those denied of OAP. “The drive was aimed to weed out ineligible persons from the beneficiaries list. But, it went the other way around,” said a government official.
Alexander said, the former Collector Rajendran made arrangements to distribute food to the public coming to the Collectorate. “But, now there is not even proper water supply to people coming to the Collectorate,” he bemoaned.