Ganderbal, Dec 6: Amid the winter chill hundreds of elderly people including pensioners, disabled, and widows queued up outside the designated counters set up by the authorities here in Ganderbal district to get their desired documents uploaded to avail the financial assistanavailingce schemes from the government.
Since the last few days, after the Social Welfare Department asked all the beneficiaries to update their documents afresh for availing different financial assistance schemes, thousands of beneficiaries particularly the elderly and the disabled have been spending hours outside government-designated centers in the bone-chilling cold because they fear that their pensions will be terminated if they do not register online. The issue is even worse in rural areas since senior citizens frequently travel great distances and make several journeys to gather the necessary Aadhar information, age certificates, and handicapped certificates from authorized agencies to update their documents online at Block and District headquarters.
Many beneficiaries at one of the counters outside the block medical office Kangan told Greater Kashmir that they are having trouble registering online, which is essential to guarantee they receive the meager government financial aid since the Department of Social Welfare has moved the payment process online.
“We have been here since 9 am and are waiting for our turn which seems difficult as there is already a long queue of people and it is bone-chilling cold and causes immense inconvenience, “ a beneficiary from Wangath Kangan said.
There is only one counter for thousands of beneficiaries from a huge area from Sonamarg upto Kangan which overburdens the staff at BMO office Kangan. They said some more counters need to be set up to ease the process.
Many social activists and organizations have expressed dismay over the difficulties being faced by disabled, old-age pensioners in the online registration process.
Raja Parvez , a social worker from Kangan, said that the administration must open more counters for elderly people who have to come from far-off places.
An official of the social welfare department said that they will do everything possible to help the beneficiaries in the process.
He said that they are planning to organize camps at different places so that the elderly people get the services without traveling too far.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Shyambir Singh said that they will open more counters for the convenience of the people.
“I will ensure some more counters are open for these beneficiaries so that they don’t face any inconvenience while undergoing the mandatory registration process for availing financial assistance schemes from the government, “ DC said.