Right to Information – Master key to good governance

No pension, these widows read the RTI Act

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 15, 2006

No pension, these widows read the RTI Act

Vivek Vijaypalan


Ahmedabad, July 15: IN Juhapura, two women who are victims of different circumstances have one story to tell—they are not being paid widow compensation, thanks to government apathy. But now both believe that the Right to Information Act will help them. While one woman has filed an RTI application seeking compensation, the other is yet to do so.

Masuma Sheikh, who works as a domestic help to raise her family, filed an RTI application in the collectorate but her application has been rejected. She says, “The Public Information Officer did not take my application and asked me to file the application in the Samaj Suraksha Kendra in Astodia.”

Mausuma’s husband deserted her 15 years ago without divorcing her. In 2001, she applied for widow pension as she was eligible under law and began to receive a monthly sum of Rs 660 which was withdrawn the following year. She says, “My pension stopped in July 2002 and I received a letter from the government saying that I will be offered a stipend instead of a pension on condition that I attend a self-employment course in Gandhinagar.”

Mausuma says she made a plea that she could not attend the programme as Gandhinagar was too far away. She says, “I submitted my request to the collector saying that the training centre was too far away but my pension was put on hold. I filed an RTI application on Thursday to know why it had been rejected.” However, she has not lost hope and says that she will file the RTI application again as it is in order.

Haseenabanu Sheikh too has not been receiving her pension after her husband’s death.

Haseenabanu’s husband died of AIDS in May 2005, following which she applied for the widow pension in February 2006 but she says that she has not received a single penny till now. She says, “I submitted an application to the collector before but it was of no use.” Haseenabanu adds that she will file an RTI application to know why she has not been receiving her pension next week. Both women have put their faith in the RTI and hope it will help solve their problems.

When asked about why these widows have to run from pillar to post while there is a Widow Pension Scheme in place, the response was as bureaucratically evasive as it could be. District Collector D. Tara said, “Earlier the responsibility was with the Social Welfare and Implementation Department but now the Sub-Divisional officer handles the scheme.”


One Response to “No pension, these widows read the RTI Act”

  1. ashu said

    I have same problem but my pension and grauity amount of my husband’s is issued on my name but stopped by department because my mother-in-law case on me and department for 50% benefits of my husband.so department stop my whole widow benefits and family pension . My mother-in-law have two elder son who has govt employ .My father -in-law has valuable property from ancestor . They only disturb me from this obstacles in my dark and dump life . They lived in the ancestor home and i lived in rented home but i have no received benefits of my husband .

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