Struggle for Salt and Rice – A widow’s wait for pension

Naima Khatun, a widow from rural Jharkhand used to survive on a meagre meal of salt and rice, all thanks to her widow pension of Rs. 400. “I used to work for other people in exchange for food but after getting the pension, life was easier,” recalls Naima, as she speaks with Bharti Kumari, Video Volunteers’ Community Correspondent. 

But six months back, her pension was abruptly stopped. Now she struggles to survive as managing the basic amenities becomes difficult. “I don’t have money for food nor medicines now,” she worries.  While her children and relatives will take care of her needs for a few days, her survival, in the long run, is undecided without financial support.

As a widow, under the Department of Rural Development’s Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme, Naima should be receiving Rs. 400/- a month. The amount is barely sufficient but for her, every rupee goes a long way. She would worry a little less. Life would be a little easier.

She is among the estimated approx. 2 lakh widows in Jharkhand whom the scheme is supposed to benefit. She received her pension for a year after which it was discontinued without a reason. She has repeatedly approached the authorities but she never received her pension again. Neither has she ever found out the reason why she stopped receiving the payment.   

A widow pension of Rs. 400 a month, can help Naima be independent. Let us help her. Call Baghmara district’s Circle Officer Rajendra Singh, on +91-9162706545 and demand that they look into Naima’s case without further delay. She should not only start getting the monthly pension but also receive the arrears in compensation.

This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Bharti Kumari.

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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