Dalit Elderly: Cheated, Discriminated Against

More than 3000 elderly citizens from 144 villages in Rohtas District have not received any pension under the Government of India’s Social Security Scheme, which entitles the elderly to a meagre monthly amount to support themselves. Most of these men and women are unable to work anymore or are dependent on medication and treatment to move around. Even after knowing all this information, the government funds have never reached safely to the entitled. Community Correspondent Amarjeet Kumar reports from Sadokhar village in the Chenari block of Rohtas district, where he went to document and resolve the issue of people not getting old age pensions for more than 12 months. Instead he found out that there was a completely different game amidst this issue. The community revealed that members from supposedly higher castes have received their pensions on time, always. When Amarjeet went to the Block Development Officer, Shailendra Kumar, to inquire about the matter, the BDO firstly refered to the community as maha-dalit and then acknowledged that the funds did arrive for them but orders came from the district headquarters, bifurcating the fund to other communities. He said that he has sent an application demanding a year’s worth of advance pension payment for the community and then contradicted himself by saying that it’s going to take a long time because there is no District Development Officer. If there was no District Development Officer, who signed the orders to allocate funds to a different community, like the BDO claims? The BDO’s testimony in the video brings out another yet very crucial flaw in the system. Why are funds allocated according to castes? Or is that just the BDO’s understanding of his community? Regardless, in this entire charade, the poor elderly are being cheated out of what is rightfully theirs. We urge you call Shailendra Kumar @ +91-9430423994, Block Development Officer, Chenari Block, Rohtas District, Bihar and pressurize him to provide the pending amount to the community and ensure that it stays regular in future.

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