Social Welfare department cites paucity of funds
Srinagar: The J&K government is failing to provide one-time monetary assistance available under National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) to widows.
Sources in Social Welfare department told Kashmir Reader that as may as 2500 cases have piled up in the last four years, with the department failing to provide the assistance amount for lack of funds.
Widows in the age group of 30 to 45, falling under Below Poverty Line (BPL) in J&K, are eligible to one-time monetary assistance of Rs 20,000 under the scheme.
NFBS was introduced by Government of India throughout the country in August 1995 with an aim to provide immediate succour to those BPL families whose lone bread earner expires due to natural or accidental cause.
“We don’t receive proper funds last year we only received 6 lacks, and provide funds to only 30 cases, which was in pending list,” a Head Assistant at the Social Welfare Department said.
An official in the department said that the scheme is based on first come first serve basis, but the preference is given to the “political privileged widows” and the women with “high reference”.
“Rest pending cases remain in file covers tossed from table to table that gather dust and are finally are locked in lockers,” he said. “And for the future year the same political privileged process is followed and the widows, in intense need, are left on backburner”.
The enlisted persons have visited the department several times over the past few years, only to return disappointed
“On April 2016 I have applied for this scheme, I have completed all formalities but still I am not able to avail this scheme. What is the fun of providing these types of scheme when they don’t provide money on time,” said Muskaan Jan, a resident of Barthana area in Srinagar.
It is the third year now. I am already facing problem, my health is not in a good condition and in every month I have to buy medicine which cost me almost 1500, if they (department) provide me the amount may be it will ease my burden but nothing has been done,” she said.
Untill 2002-03, the scheme was fully funded by GOI. Thereafter it was shifted to State Sector and is currently in vogue under the same pattern. The Scheme is implemented by the Social Welfare Department throughout the state.