Dashain loses its festive fervour for senior citizensDelay in the distribution of social security allowances in Sindupalchok a disappointment for senior citizens.
Seventy-five-year-old Janak Kumari Karki from Sunkoshi Rural Municipality on Wednesday visited the ward office to collect her social security allowance. However, after waiting a while, she was told that the office would not be distributing any allowances before Dashain.
“I needed the money before the festivities began. What will we do with the allowance later?” Karki said.
Many senior citizens in Sunkoshi and Tripurasundari rural municipalities of Sindhupalchok district have to return empty-handed from their respective ward offices. Most of them had come from far-flung villages to receive their social security allowance before Dashain.
The government provides Rs 3,000 per month to every senior citizen as social security allowance. The recipients collect the cumulative amount every four months.
According to the rural municipal office, it has provisionally halted the allowance distribution process, as the office is still updating the state allowance recipients’ list.
Sanumaya Thami, 72, of Tripurasundari Rural Municipality was also looking forward to collecting her allowance for the Dashain festivities.
“I was hoping to purchase meat and other essentials for Dashain with the allowance money,” Thami said. “But now I don’t have the money to get me through the festival season.”
The population of Sunkoshi and Tripurasundari is 17,000 and 16,000, respectively.
Laxmi Paudel, deputy chief of the Sunkoshi, said the rural municipality could not complete any administrative work in the absence of its chief Shrawan Kumar GC, who was on a visit to Germany.
“We weren’t able to prepare the list of recipients on time as the chief of the municipality was out of the country. He recently returned from his visit,” Paudel said.
Sukadev Risal, chairman of Tripurasundari Ward No. 3, said, “When I went to the rural municipal office to collect allowances on Saturday, I was told that the local unit was busy updating the list.”
Bhakta Bahadur Bohara, a resident of Tekanapur in Tripurasundari, blamed the people’s representatives for the delay in allowance distribution.
“It’s already festival time, and the elderly have yet to get their allowance. The local representatives should have done the necessary work to update the list,” said Bohara. “The ineptitude of the local representatives and the municipality offices is clear for all to see. They should have done their work on time to ensure timely distribution of allowance during Dashain.”