Differently-abled persons face agonising wait for pension in Tamil Nadu's Tiruvanamalai
At least 182 persons with disabilities are awaiting government pension for several months, as their applications submitted to Tiruvanamalai taluk office are yet to be approved due to delay in sanction
CHENNAI: At least 182 persons with disabilities are awaiting government pension for several months, as their applications submitted to Tiruvanamalai taluk office are yet to be approved due to delay in sanctioning of funds.
Activists say the large number of petitions pending in a single taluk office is indicative of how difficult it is for the differently-abled to claim pension that helps them in small ways to lead a dignified life.
E Vengatesan of district federation for the differently-abled, said applications, the oldest of which dates back to September 2016, were submitted individually. But, the federation has taken up the issue as a collective social cause. In August this year, a petition containing a list of 182 persons whose applications have been kept pending was handed over to the Tiruvanamalai taluk office by the federation. “Our petition has been accepted, but no steps have been taken to approve the applications and sanction the pension,” he said.
He claimed that a similar scenario prevails in other taluks in the district as well. Potential beneficiaries are desperate for authorities to take note of their plight. A Ponnarasi, 32, mother of two children, applied under the scheme last year, but does not know about the fate of her application. Her legs were paralysed during childhood and increasing pain now has forced her to take pain killers. “My husband is a casual labourer and does not earn much. The pension would be really useful now to manage our expenses,” she said.
When Express reached out, a revenue official in Tiruvanamalai taluk office said “For the last six months, there has been no allocation of funds. Since April, fresh applications have not been considered. We will be able to grant the pension once the funds are released.”
Vital for leading dignified lives
Under the pension scheme for people with disabilities, the State government provides a monthly financial assistance of C1,000. The revenue department is the nodal agency for the scheme. Those who are 18 or above, with disability level of 40 per cent and above, having fixed assets not exceeding C50,000 are eligible. The policy note of revenue department, nodal agency for the scheme, has listed 2.18 lakh persons in the State as beneficiaries. (Till March 31, 2017)