BPL families accuse authorities of denying them Golden Health Cards

PAMPORE: Below Poverty Line (BPL) families have accused authorities of denying them Golden Health Cards and said they are moving from pillar to post from past two years to get it. A delegation of representatives from different villages of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district told Kashmir Reader that these health cards are being issued under centrally sponsored Ayushman Bharat Scheme, which has been denied to them. Under the scheme the card holders are entitled to free medicine up to 5 lakhs up on admission in a hospital. The representatives alleged that authorities issued these cards to rich and influential persons while as people living below poverty line have been ignored. Jawahira, a BPL resident of Namblabal Pampore suffering from tumour told Kashmir Reader that they have been denied card with no reasonable grounds. “I submitted an application, but till date I heard nothing about it,” she said, adding that she needs this card and appealed authorities to look into her case on priority basis. Another BPL resident Ghulam Hassan Sofi of Wahibugh village of Pulwama told Kashmir Reader that he too was denied the cared with no reasonable grounds. “I submitted an application before authorities pleading them for issuing me the card but to no avail,” he said, adding that he was surprised to see government employees getting these cards at the cost of poor people. He said that he raised this issue with authorities who told him that the cards were issued on the basis of a survey carried out in 2011. “The survey is flawed as those who conducted it favoured their kith and kin ignoring the poor, ” he said. He appealed to the authorities to include all poor families who deserve these cards and initiate an inquiry to find out as to how some influentially rich people managed these cards. Zona Begum, another BPL resident from Pampore area told Kashmir Reader that her name was missing from the list and subsequently she applied for the card. “I submitted an application and since then I have been waiting for it,” she said, adding that when they sought intervention of authorities into the matter they were told that only those people who have been included in 2011 survey and were left out will be issued these cards. “I don’t understand as to how authorities can ignore ground realities by relying on a list which is a flawed,” she said, and demanded that the flawed list be probed. She said that this has become a norm in Kashmir that centrally sponsored schemes don’t reach to their intended beneficiaries. “If that is the not case tell me how a former gazetted government officer can manage the card while poor are made to suffer, ” she asked. Additional Deputy Commissioner Awantipora Zaffar Hussain Shawl told Kashmir Reader that they have constituted a team for preparing a list of such persons whose names figured in 2011 survey but whose cards have not been generated. “We have received complaints from many residents that they were dropped from the list. We have assigned the job of identifying the residents who have been dropped, ” he said, adding that once the list is prepared the names will be uploaded. “The process will take three to four days and after that we will start generating their cards,” he said, adding that DC Pulwama is very keen to cover all deserving families under Ayushman Bharat Scheme.

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