Old age pensioners smile, but only in advertisements
Their smiling faces in a government advertisement endorsing the Indira Gandhi Old Age Pension Scheme would leave no one in doubt that they were a happy lot. However, the ''beneficiaries'' have different stories to tell.
The people featured in the advertisement could not even apply for claiming the benefits under the scheme as application forms were not available at the “tehsil” (town area office).
Feeling cheated, these people have lodged a complaint and demanded that they be given the pension.
The advertisement of the central government-sponsored pension scheme under which below the poverty line people of 65 years and above were entitled to receive Rs 200 per month had shown many elders of Lutsan village in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district endorsing the same.
The advertisement later appeared in some newspapers in which some elderly people from were quoted as being very happy after getting the pension.
According to the “beneficiaries”, a fellow villager, who lived in Kanpur, saw the advertisement and brought the newspaper to the village.“We were shocked to see our faces in the advertisement....we never received any pension...we simply posed for photographs after being told by a group of men,” said Vijay Singh, one of the “beneficiaries”.
Shocked elders met the district magistrate and demanded that they be given the benefits under the scheme. Many of them complained that the application forms for the scheme were not available while some said that they did not even know about it. District officials said the application forms were being arranged and efforts would be made to expedite the cases of these people if found to be eligible.