Old Age Pension scheme of Govt - the benefits and the realities
The old age pension scheme offered by the government to deserving has been channelized by Buds of Christ to support children under the care of grandparents. So far 15 families, grandparent-headed households are benefitted with the scheme. Though the amount `400 is a small amount, this plays a significant role in meeting some of the needs of the family.
The benefit is seen vital for families who have no other means of support
· For families working in unorganized sector, and daily wages
· For people taking care of grandchildren
In the case of Priya, an adolescent girl orphan, this benefit was more supportive, when her grandfather had to take rest due to eye operation and had no option to do any kind of work. The amount was just enough to satisfy their minimal needs for the month.
In the case of Krishnan and Radha both orphans under the care of grandfather and deserted by their father, this support has become an additional grant in meeting the day to day expenses. The grandfather works as a dhobi and sometimes health condition affects his earning for the month. This not only affects him, but also the children dependent on him.
This permanent income that comes as a social benefit is welcomed by all the families, but critically analyzing this alone will not help the family to live a quality life.
The above two illustrations, though has shown the positive side of the social benefit, the gaps remain
- For families who cannot do any work due to advanced age condition.
- For families living in rented huts
In this condition, the children become the sufferers and in some cases, the bread winners in spite of the social benefits. So as community center, we welcome the Old Age Pension by the Govt, but it can yield the complete purpose if the realities to the rising prices of basic commodities are also observed.