Senior citizens in Dang are facing hassles getting their social security allowance from banks after local governments switched to the banking channels. This happened a few years ago following complaints of irregularities in cash distribution.
Banks in Dang are witnessing a rise in the number of elderly visitors after the local governments deposited allowances for up to October. Senior citizens are forced to stand in queues outside the bank on their cold flights of stairs all day. The bankers say the government might recall their allowances deposited into bank accounts if they themselves don’t go to the bank.
For some of the senior citizens, it takes up to two days to reach the bank from their homes.
According to local government statistics, 11,500 people in the Tulsipur area get social security allowance. Chief of the vital registration branch of Tulsipur Sub-metropolis Krishna Bahadur Wali says that the allowance for senior citizens living in 19 wards (which amounts to around Rs 390 million) of the city is being sent to banks to minimize chances of corruption. According to official figures, around Rs 2 billion is spent on security allowances each year in Dang, which has 10 municipalities.
Banks, meanwhile, say that they are considering the needs of senior citizens. Kiran Acharya, manager of Siddhartha Bank Tulsipur branch, says that the bank is aware of its social responsibility.
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Dhani Kharalni, a 96-year-woman from Tulsipur, shares her suffering. She says she had had to have two helpers to her to the bank as half her body doesn’t move. "It's very difficult to get the allowance," she says.
She says people's representatives should arrange for allowances for senior citizens at their own doorsteps.
Bal Bahadur Pariyar, 78, complains that senior citizens are made to wait in line for hours. He says the local government and the bank should make separate arrangements for senior citizens.