Old Age Pension: Why make it so tortuous?

Old aged people are made to move from pillar to post in sub zero temperature. Sonaullah’s family must be compensated 
Old Age Pension: Why make it so tortuous?
Pic: Author

62 year Sonaullah Bhat from Malangam Bandipora would have never thought he would not come back alive while leaving for Bnadipora town for verification of his old age pension documents on Tuesday December 20th 2022. Bhat had gone to the Tehsil Social Welfare Office Bandipora several times for re-verification of his documents.    

On December 19th 2022 (Monday) he had visited the office, but the queue was so long that he could not make it to get his documents verified. On Tuesday with an aim of reaching the office early, he left his home around 8 am only in the sub zero temperature. He reached the office around 9 am but collapsed after some time, and died.

The family members of Sonaullah Bhat while talking to a local newspaper said that he went to submit an old age pension document on Monday and remained in the queue the whole day and returned home without submitting the form. On Tuesday he left his home as early as 8 am in the bone chilling cold and after some hours we came to know that he died outside the Tehsil Social Welfare office. Locals say that he died of hypothermia  which caused cardiac arrest.

For the last two months this author has been highlighting the issue of re-verification of age of these old age people & persons with disabilities. The worst sufferers are those people who don’t have any proof of age like date of birth certificate issued by school, Board of school education, municipality or police station. For such people the Medical Board in every district has been entrusted to issue the age certificate. So all the people who fall under this category were asked to assemble outside a single designated office in every district under the supervision of Chief Medical Officers (CMOs).

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