Srinagar: After tiresome efforts to get enlisted as deserving persons for financial assistance from Social Welfare Department, more than 600 old aged persons from underprivileged class were due to get financial assistance. But for “unknown reasons” the list was withheld.
Sources in the department told Kashmir Reader that the minister of state for Health & Medical Education, Social Welfare and Housing & Urban Development, Asiea Naqash, has refused to approve the list.
The enlisted persons have visited the department several times over the past few months, only to return disappointed as a “final report” regarding their case was awaited.
“All the formalities were completed by the officials. Passbooks of our accounts were also issued to us. We were expecting that the assistance would be transferred to our accounts by March this year but after more than four months, we are still running around,” said an elderly person that had come to SWD to enquire about their case.
Around 632 old persons were selected by the department following a due process and were accordingly recommended for obtaining financial assistance under various state-sponsored social security schemes provided to old age persons, widows, divorcees, women in distress and physically challenged.
“The list kept in abeyance reportedly because the minster wanted only those persons to get assistance who she recommends. She is questioning the list which has been prepared after following all the laid down procedures. By her logic, department’s list is corrupted and her list is the credible one,” the elderly person said.
In March this year, Department received a letter from the office of state chief planning officer directing it for re-verification of the said list as, they claimed, the list is “not genuine” and sought report from the department within next three days.
After one month, department, however, replied with a letter conveying that the list is genuine and prepared carefully after following due process. “Since then, we have received no response from that office. Every day, these people come here (to Dept) and seek explanations from us. At times, we had to face law and order situations,” says the official.
Minister and MLA Hazratbal, Asiea Naqash didn’t respond to repeated calls. Commissioner Secretary, social welfare department, Sajad Ahmad Khan told Kashmir Reader that he will look into the matter and would try to solve it. “I will look into the matter as to why the list has been withheld,” Khan said.