SHRC Seeks List Of Applications By Widows Pending With SWD By May-1

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Srinagar—The State Human Rights Commission on Thursday directed Director Social Welfare Kashmir and Jammu to file before it list of all pending applications of widows by May 1.

The commission passed ordered after a “tragic picture of state of affairs” was drawn from the report of Tehsil Social Welfare Officer Chadoora.

“In a small Tehsil like Chadoora, 9350 applications are pending and it appears that no fresh case has been sanctioned after 2009. Pensions are being provided under different schemes to widows, persons of old age and to physically challenged persons and such persons have to wait for decades.” The officer concerned submitted that under such schemes, pensions are being paid prospectively and not retrospectively. “That means if a person became entitled to pension in 2009 and pension is sanctioned in 2019, he/she would not get anything for the decade which was spent for obtaining sanction,” the commission observed.

Observing that nearly 10000 applications are pending one Tehsil, the commission’s chairman Justice Bilal Naski said: “I would imagine the number in whole of the State of J&K must be in lakhs.”

The commission ordered  that a notice be given to Director Social Welfare Kashmir  and Jammu to file the list of all such pending applications before the Commission by the next date of hearing on May 1. “In the meantime, copy of order be forwarded to Chief Secretary of the State with a request that he will look into the issue and try to obtain funds for payment of pension to the persons who are entitled to such pension. If the pensions are paid after decades, the purpose of such schemes is defeated.”

 The officer present also submitted that there was a scheme for grant of one time relief of Rs. 20,000 to a widow. “I would imagine that this scheme must have been framed to provide immediate succour to the family after a lady becomes widow. That means it should be paid immediately after the death of her husband. But even this amount is not being paid for decades”. 

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