Rajsamand district, Rajasthan
Sixty-five-year old Nathu Singh from village Thekarwas in Rajsamand has faced denial for pension several times with authorities alleging he is less than sixty years of age. However, he has been enrolled in the social assistance program four months back. His wife is also getting pension now. They have one goat which provides them milk.
The couple does not have any son. They have three bighas of land which however is barren and does not produce much. The land yields them 10-12 kilograms of wheat and some urad. However, neelgais often destroy the fields. Whatever is produced is used for eating. Singh wants an enhancement in pension money.
Singh gets 35 kilograms of wheat at Re one per kilo through his ration card. “I find it difficult to work since I have pain in my knees. But, I have no other option since there is no way to make the two ends meet,” he says. Singh’s wife also cannot work much. He tries to get work under rural employment program which earns him Rs 60-80 in a day. However, he can be employed only for 100 days in a year.
“We are growing old. Who will take care of us. Doctor is available 17-18 kilometers away. Falling sick also costs us money,” he says.