Denied Pension in Old Age

Not even a month ago IndiaUnheard published a video titled 'Pension Pains' spotlighting the rampant corruption in the old age pension scheme in the eastern state of Odisha. The Madhu Babu Pension Scheme introduced in late 2007 promises a sum of Rs. 300/- to every citizen of the state over the age of 60. "But the applications take so long to process that people are in the danger of leaving this world before their pensions come through," says Community Correspondent Anupama Sathy from District Jagatsinghpur. Anupama has produced her first video on 70 year old Mayadar Sethi who toiled for years in hard labor but is now old and sick and cannot seem to make ends meet without relying on the charity of neighbors. Rs. 300/- would enable him a few basic necessities and life would be a little bit easier. But for the last 4 years, despite repeated applications, the government of Odisha has failed to recognize him as a beneficiary of the scheme. He is not alone. There are 27 senior citizens in the village who are yet to receive their pension. But Anupama who recently joined IndiaUnheard as a Community Correspondent has already been using the footage she collected for the video to plead for the case of the senior citizens in her village. Her visits to the Block Development Office have been fruitful. The officer has has given her a firm promise that he would to look into the case. Says Anupama, "There is a good chance that my first video can turn into my first instance of impact and change. I’m hoping for the best... actually, I am confident.”

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