Elderly persons in care homes do not get state benefitsMany senior citizens taking shelter in old-age home in Makwanpur district have been deprived of elderly allowance due to the lack of citizenship certificate.
Many senior citizens taking shelter in old-age home in Makwanpur district have been deprived of elderly allowance due to the lack of citizenship certificate.
Those elderly people feel neglected as they are unable to enjoy the facility provided by the country under the social security scheme. “Our time has come. We will be happy if the government grants us citizenship so that we can receive the elderly allowance,” said Lal Bahadur Gole. The nonagenarian, who was born in Tistung of Makwanpur, was rescued by Hetauda-based old-age home Manab Sewa Ashram from the street three years ago.
There are more than 125 senior citizens, including seven Indian nationals, above 70 years of age in five different old-age homes in the district. Ramji Adhikari, the chief of Manab Sewa Ashram, said that most of the elderly citizens taking shelter in various old-age homes do not have citizenship to claim the elderly allowance.
The government has been providing a monthly allowance of Rs 2,000 to elderly through the local units.
The present government is in dilemma whether to revoke the decision of the erstwhile Sher Bahadur Deuba administration to lower the age to 65 from 70 for the elderly allowance.
“The senior citizens will be happy and take pressure off the old-age homes if they
are provided with the citizenship,” said Adhikari, adding that the allowance of Rs 2,000 would be quite helpful for providing food and care to the senior citizens.
The recently elected people’s representatives have expressed their commitment to take initiatives to help the senior citizens acquire the citizenship. Mayor of Hetauda Sub-metropolis Hari Bahadur Mahat said he would take up the issue to the District Administration Office, the government agency responsible for issuing citizenship certificates, regarding necessary legal procedures to provide citizenship to the elderly people taking refuge in the old-age homes.
“Those senior citizens taking shelter in old-age home do not need citizenship for other purposes. The government should at least provide the allowance for them in case there are legal hurdles to issue citizenship,” said Hari Sigdel, who runs another old-age home in the district.