Lokayukta turns problem-solver

In a proactive approach, Lokayukta educating people on their entitlements

Stricken by poverty, his wife and two young daughters tried in vain to get the Government’s disability pension to keep themselves going. Frustrated by official lethargy, they approached the Lokayukta. Chalapathi now gets Rs 1000 pension under a Union Government scheme. The family can now breathe easy.

The daughter of a domestic servant had to quit her Pre-University course despite securing 64 per cent marks in the examinations because of financial problems.

When help came to her, it was too late, for the last date for admission was over. Then she  approached the Lokayukta, who issued a letter to the authorities concerned, and she was back in academics.

These are just two examples of the Lokayukta’s new ‘avatar.’ For, the institution’s anti-corruption image has increased people’s faith in it. People in distress are now looking towards Lokayukta to get their work done at the Government level.

“Now, do not consider Lokayukta as just a body to prevent corruption by conducting raids and laying traps, because, 90 per cent of our job lies in helping people in distress. But it will be done within the legal framework,” said Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde.

He told Deccan Herald that 30 to 40 complaints the Lokayukta daily concern the common problems faced by the lay people, like not being able to get admission to hospital for treatment, denial of old age pension etc. “We try our best to help them get their work done. In one sitting, we got pension for 350 physically challenged persons. There are several government schemes like these which the needy are not able to avail of on their own. We just ensure that the people are benefited,” he said.

During the year, 12,500 such cases have been examined and have been helped with relief, while at least 18,000 cases are still pending. But the Lokayukta can only consider cases that are entitled to consideration legally.  “Many times we have sent back the applications stating that not much can be done as they are not within legal frame work,” he explained.

The institution has entrusted such cases to an officer of the rank of Deputy Commissioner. “People come pleading with us to help them. We cannot turn them back. We accept their complaints and do everything possible to help them,” said Syed Riyaz, Deputy Commissioner and the officer incharge of this new task.

He said the department has also conducted awareness programmes in several slums such as Rajendranagar slum, Lakshminagar, Bismillah nagar and EWS quarters in Koramangala, Rajajinagar and other places. “We have explained to people about the various Government schemes and how Lokayukta can help them to get their entitlement.  We even conducted a door-to-door survey to help people who are suffering from several ailments,” he said. So far, the institution had ensured that about 160 open heart surgeries are conducted free of cost by hospitals such as the Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology.

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