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No pension in sight, senior citizens meet Manish Sisodia

Bimla Devi, 67, has been waiting for her late husband’s pension for almost a year now. The senior citizen lives on her own in a one-room apartment in Laxmi Bai Nagar, and the meagre pension of Rs 3,500 is her only source of sustenance.

For the last one year, Devi has been knocking at one or the other official door and has even received assurances from many quarters but has been able to get nothing. “I used to get the pension regularly till 2015, after which it suddenly stopped. I have been running around with my documents for over a year now. I met many officials of the Delhi government’s Social Welfare Department, but all was in vain,” Devi said.

And she is not alone. As many as 50 people with similar cases have been struggling to get their due from the government for years now. Finally, the Senior Citizens Association of Delhi, an umbrella body of 11 lakh senior citizens, has given some hope to these long-suffering elderlies. The association members recently met Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, urging him to intervene in the matter.

The members met Sisodia at his east Delhi residence and apprised him of the situation earlier this month.

“We had met the Minister last September as well. At the time, he had assured us of help. These senior citizens in distress, however, did not get any help and approached us again. So, we decided to meet the Minister again. We told him there has been an inordinate delay in the release of Old Age Pension and Recreation Grant, despite the assurance to the contrary in September,” said J R Gupta, Chairperson, Senior Citizens Association of Delhi.

He added: “Sisodia told us that he will look into the matter. He also said there has been a problem of funds with the department concerned, which he will fix soon.” Reportedly, the Minister assured the association members that a review meeting regarding the issue will be held soon.