Monday, March 9, 2015

Visually-impaired couple find no Aasara in Hyderabad

Taken from Times of India.
HYDERABAD: Fresh guidelines issued by the Telangana government for beneficiaries to claim pension under Aasara scheme have virtually left a visually-impaired couple floundering in the dark.

The couple, K Ganga Prasad, 28 and Nagalakshmi, 27, who live in a single room tenement in Yapral are dependent on the pension doled out by the government for their living. The couple travel to Nizamabad, their hometown, every month to collect the amount. But for the past five months, ever since the government increased the monthly pension from Rs 500 to Rs 1,500 and laid out new rules for beneficiaries, the pension amount has not come their way. This despite completing the tedious paperwork, rued Ganga Prasad.

Earlier, the process to claim the pension was simple as it only involved obtaining a certificate from a government hospital declaring the disability. But now the person has to link his Aadhaar card to the website and procure an online certificate. The certificate, which is difficult to get due to glaring technical glitches in the website, has to be produced at the local collectorate along with a form from the hospital.

"For a family like ours, it is really difficult to run around and complete the formalities. However, we did it and yet, five months have gone and there is no response," lamented Prasad. The visually impaired couple have no monetary support from anywhere and are at the mercy of their neighbours and friends. To make matters worse, their three-year-old son, Charan, too is affected by the same impairment.

But this isn't a lone case. Ever since the increase in the amount, there have been issues relating to long-winding paperwork and timely release of pension. "There are so many people who are suffering because of this new system. I understand that the authorities have to do a background check, but that does not mean you make the process lengthier for the people," said Ramesh Verykul, who has been trying to spread awareness about the issue in Karimnagar. "From a low income, the people are being forced to live with no income. This is a terrible thing," he added.

Source: Times of India.

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