Noorjahan and her husband are staying with their younger unmarried son, while their other three sons are living separately. None of them have any contact with their parents. All of them are either involved in gambling, cheating or other illegal works. Her husband is working as a barber and earns about Rs. 50 a day which is not sufficient for them to survive. Although she is getting pension for the last two years that is not sufficient for her to run her family. Today, she is not able to do any laborious work as she used to do a few years back. Thus pension is the only source of income for them but that is not sufficient for her to survive in today’s condition. According to Noorjahan, steady increase in the price of the essential commodity has put the poor family in tremendous pressure.
Recollecting her earlier days, Noorjahan said: “Many a time we have fed our kids and managed with the extracts of rice left behind. We did not have much option. Whatever we used to earn was not sufficient for us to manage our family. Our whole life was full of misery. Today, whatever we earn either from the saloon or from pension is spent only on food and medicine. Neighbours provide us clothes to wear. Whenever we fall sick, we request the chemist or local dispensary to provide medicine free of cost or we would pay him a few days later.”
“I pray God please take us. I do not want to live anymore because it is better to die than live in such pathetic conditions,” she says.
Like other citizens, Noorjahan also had to pay bribe to obtain the old age pension from the government of Delhi. Sharing her experience Noorjahan says: “Initially I requested everyone from Councillor to MLA to help me get my old age pension but no one helped. Finally, I got to know that a lady is helping others in making the ration card. I approached her to help me in availing the old age pension. She said I will help you only when you pay me half of the pension amount. I agreed to it and thought that only I have to pay her once and the rest of the amount will come to me regularly. Finally, I obtained my pension from government and every three months I am getting Rs. 3,000 as old age pension.”
Her concern is that the government should increase the pension amount from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 a month so that they do not have to take food from others. Noorjahan has come to Jantar Mantar with her neighbour Kaushalya to put forward her demand for increase in pension amount.