Seven widows, all hailing from a village in Jharkhand called Kanke, have not received their Widow Pension for years. Despite representations to the Block Development Officer in charge of their village.
Hear Sameda Khatun’s sad story. She was widowed at the young age of 32 in 2003. Fortunately her son was still alive and able to support her. But he passed away many years ago and Sameda now lives a hand-to-mouth existence. Sometimes she resorts to begging for money to buy food. Her house is falling apart but she doesn’t have the money to make the necessary repairs. The roof leaks badly during the rains and she has to move to a neighbour’s house at night. And still no sight of the pension that is due to her and would ease such suffering.
Then there is Jaimun Khatun, aged 50, who stoically goes on with her life. She works as an unskilled labourer and is paid Rs. 200/- a day. Of which Rs. 50/- a day goes in commuting to work and back. She cannot afford to fall ill because there is no such thing as paid sick leave for a labourer. She barely manages to buy rice, daal and other essential rations to last a month. She has a relative who is trying to get her her pension, but to no avail so far.
Five other widows of the village have been waiting patiently since 2011. As Nirmala Ekka urges, representations should be made to the Block Development Officer urgently. These widows must get their due and not end up like destitute beggars.
This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Nirmala Ekka.
Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories.
These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges.
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