Katihar district, Bihar
At 65 years and falling health, Ramanath Singh from Bari Bathna village in Katihar district in Bihar is left with no regular source of income. He lives with his wife while their two sons live separately.
Singh never had land of his own and had to work as agricultural labourer all his life. But, he has been more miserable for the past 15-16 years due to deterioration in his health. Since, he can not do hard labour, he earns only about Rs 50-60 in a day. His wife also works but their joint earnings are not enough for their subsistence. The couple ends up borrowing money often.
The couple wants to avail of old age pension. However, panchayat head and ward head demand money to forward their forms, Singh says. Thus, no benefit seems to come to them. However, the meagre Rs 200 each of them is likely to get as pension if they are lucky, is also not going to make much difference unless the allocation is enhanced.