Sitapur district, UP
Wearing dirty, tattered clothes, Ram Sahai from Sablia village in Sitapur district is a picture of misery. He does not have any BPL card, no old age pension at 62 years and no disability support for his son who is 80 per cent disabled.
Sahai cannot work since he has breathing problem. Thus, he tries to find light work like laying chappars. He has three sons and wife. One of his sons is disabled and two are young. He does not have any land. Earlier he used to work as agricultural labourer. It was his poverty which made him marry late, going by the rural setting.
Despite being penniless, he paid Rs 400 to some people who claimed they would deposit it with secretary of Bijol, to get his pension through. Apparently money has been wrested by middlemen. Being illiterate, he does not even know where he should go to get his papers deposited to avail pension.
While his earnings are almost nil, he has to pay about Rs 100-150 every month on medicines for his breathing ailment. With no purchasing power, he depends on clothes given to him by others.