A long wait for the old-age pension

Sumi Hunni Purti, 62, was an independent old woman from the village of Patrade in the state of Jharkhand. The last surviving member of her family, Sumi had been proudly sustaining herself with the Rs. 200 old-age pension that she was entitled to under the National Old Age Pension Scheme. However, her pension was abruptly stopped in the year 2013, crippling her independence. She has made many journeys to the concerned bank to ask the whereabouts for her pension but the apathetic officials have refused to help her solve the problem. “I keep asking questions but they don’t say anything,” says a dejected Sumi to our Jharkhand community correspondent Basanti Hunni.

No longer able to sustain herself and all alone in the world, Sumi has currently moved in with her nephew in the village. What will she do with the pension that she gets? “I will buy myself rice, soap and clothes,” says a hopeful Sumi.

The 100 million elderly in India make up for 8% of the country’s population currently; by 2021, the elderly are estimated to represent around 12% of the country’s population. Many case studies prove these pension schemes act as a lifeline to the poor, even though the Central government only provides Rs. 200 per month ( $ 3 per month), a sum which hasn’t been revised since 2006. Further, studies show that pension benefits reached about 23 million individuals in 2014. However, elderly in the country constitute about 100 million people, implying that pension benefits reached only a quarter of the population.

Help Sumi get her rightful old-age pension so that she can live her life with dignity. Call Reshmi Lakra, the concerned Block Area Officer on Khunti district in Jharkhand on +91-9833708629.

This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Basanti Hunni.

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. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org.
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