Monetary aid scheme for widows in limbo due to lack of funds

SRINAGAR: The one-time monetary assistance scheme for widows under National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBA) is yearning for government’s attention since its launch in the State owing to the lack of funds.
The scheme was started by the government of India with an aim to provide immediate succour to below poverty line families.
As per the official records, Social Welfare department in Srinagar district has more than 2500 pending cases from the last five years and numbers are further going up.
An official within the department said that the scheme is based on “first come first serve”.
“But we don’t receive funds, and whenever we get funds, the preference is given to the political privileged widows and the women with high reference,” he said.
“Last year, government has decided to clear all backlog cases, but till this date, nothing has been done. We are helpless. We cannot do anything until we receive funds,” the official said
Farheed Banoo, a resident of Rainwari, said that on April 2016, she had applied for this scheme and have completed all formalities. “But I have not availed the benefit of this scheme till this date,” she said.
“I have taken a loan of 50,000 rupees, which I am unable to repay due to the financial problems. I had thought if I will benefit from this scheme, I will be able to pay loan instalments which would have eased my burden,” she said, adding from the last four years, I am visiting the department, but nothing has been done so far.
The NFBA is a social assistance scheme meant for widows of Jammu and Kashmir who are above 30 years or up to 45 years and are living below the poverty line. Such deserving cases are entitled under the scheme to receive a one-time financial assistance package of Rs 20000 from the competent authority after due verification.
As per the record, till 2002-03 it was fully funded by GoI under centrally sponsored scheme. Thereafter, it was shifted to State Sector. The instant scheme is being implemented by the Social Welfare department throughout the state.

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