Sitapur district, U.P
Ram Lal apparently needs pension on two counts – he is 62 years of age and is disabled. One year back he had fractured his leg but his mobility has not returned completely and thus he walks with crutches. However, according to those clearing the names for pension scheme, he is not qualified to get pension. He is here in Delhi for some redressal.
Lal is from Patkapur village in Sitapur district. He had to spend Rs 5000 on treatment at a government hospital. Then, he spent another Rs 2000 for follow-up treatment. For 15 days, he was given daily injections which cost him around Rs 100 each, and was also prescribed some tonics. While government hospitals are supposed to provide free treatment, being uneducated, Lal probably did not know this. On the other hand, he does not even have the power to get information and does not know what treatment was given and why he has not recovered.
Earlier, Lal used to work as gardener in forest department and earned Rs 2800 a month. He lost his job after injury. He has five bighas of land which has been distributed between his two sons. He has only one bigha left for himself. But, he is not able to do any work on the land. Thus, he gives his one biga land to others who till for him and provide a part of the produce to him. His sons provide him food. However, he does not have monetary support from anybody. Lal’s wife died few years back.
“How do I purchase clothes? I have one jacket for winters which was given to me by my aunt’s son.” Lal has applied for pension thrice and even opened a bank account by borrowing Rs 500. He traveled nine kilometers to deposit his form, but officials rejected his form saying he was employed.
“At least give me pension for disabled.” Lal is bitter that government promise of forgoing loan has not been met. He had borrowed Rs 25,000 from a bank for his wife’s treatment and is supposed to pay back.