TODAY -

Bucket of cold water after a hot shower : Insulting the senior citizens
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: April 14 2015 -

Aged persons wait in vain for their pensions on April 12 2015
Aged persons wait in vain for their pensions on April 12 2015 :: Pix - TSE



Seems like a bucket of ice cold water after a hot shower.

It was just a few days back that Social Welfare Minister AK Mirabai made it to the pages of the local newspapers for distributing Old Age Pension to some beneficiaries but on April 13 morning, the readers were greeted with the news of how some aged pensioners were made to wait for hours at the 1st MR ground from 6 am to 11.30 am with no officials concerned turning up to disburse their pensions.

In effect the pensioners were made to wait for more than 5 hours at a stretch and as if this was not enough, an official with 25 other employees arrived but left two and a half an hour later.

Needless to say this left many high and dry and making things worse is the fact that the aged pensioners were not informed about the reality at all. Unacceptable it is.

Making things more ugly was the reported response of the Social Welfare Minister who apparently failed to read the situation correctly or feel the pulse of the aged pensioners.

The picture that accompanied the story in the April 14 issue of this paper should be enough indication of the harassment meted out to the senior citizens of this land.

Take note, the Old Age Pension is more than just the few rupees given to the aged persons, but is more about acknowledging the needs of seniors who live Below the Poverty Line.

Something is seriously wrong with the manner in which the Government is being run and managed. And this is where a pertinent question ought to be raised now.

Why should disbursing old age pensions to the aged people make it to the newspapers in the first place ?

Why the brouhaha when a political leader or a Minister or an MLA distribute old age pension to the people entitled to get the same ?

A question which is long over due but which no one has deemed it fit to raise. It is the same thing with the media or newspapers here too.

Why should Ministers or MLAs make it to the news because they happen to distribute old age pensions to the pensioners ?

Something obviously is wrong with the concerns and focus of the media as well.

Publicity is okay but when the publicity begins to sound and look like cheap efforts to be in the limelight then the media too should know when to stop.

More than likely that what happened on April 12 was keeping in line with how the Government and its employees have been discharging their duties all these years.

What happened was more than keeping the aged people waiting for hours but in many ways it also exposed where the welfare of the seniors figure on the priority list of the Government.

This is what is hard to digest. When seniors of the land are treated so shabbily then what can one expect from the Government ?

Does the understanding of a welfare State not cover the elderly citizens of the land ?

As Social Welfare Minister, AK Mirabai may have the best interest of the aged people in her mind but it is only right that she comes to the understanding that subjecting aged people to such hardship has nothing to do with the welfare of anyone.



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