Srinagar, Sep 29: For the last three months, Abdul Razak has been regularly visiting the bank with a hope to receive his old age pension. Suffering from various ailments, Razak has been unable to buy medicines after Social Welfare Department stopped transferring old age pension to his account.
“I am suffering from various ailments and I used to buy medicines by this money but for the last three months I could not purchase my medicines,” said Razak.
Razak is among 3.5 lakh beneficiaries who get monthly assistance of Rs 1000 under various social welfare schemes. Despite availability of funds, the beneficiaries have been left in the lurch as department has been unable to transfer money due to unavailability of internet.
“I visit bank every week to check balance in my account, but every time I return disappointed. I used to get money every month, but for the last three months I have not received a single penny,” said Nabeela, a widow hailing from old city.
Social Welfare Department provides financial assistance to beneficiaries under two flagship schemes including Integrated Social Security Scheme (ISSS) and National Social Assistant Programme (NSAP).
Under ISSS, funds are provided to old aged people (OAP), women in distress (WID), and physically challenged people (PCP). Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS), Indira Gandhi national widow pension scheme (IGNWPS), Indira Gandhi national Disability pension Scheme (IGNDPS), and National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) are being covered under NSAP.
NajeebLateef, Assistant Director, Social Welfare department, told The Kashmir Monitor that they were not able to release the funds due to unavailability of internet.
Lateef noted that due to unavailability of internet, data of registered beneficiaries was not available and therefore electronic benefit transfers were affected.
“After the internet facility was made available at District Commissioner’s office, we have started the account validation. Funds will be transacted within a week,” he added.