Tall claims of the social welfare department regarding welfare of disabled people seems to have remained on paper only as more than 1,489 disabled in the district are awaiting help from the state government and Centre as their pension cases are yet to get clearance from the department concerned.
A social welfare department official has said "inadequate funds" vis-à-vis the increasing number of cases under various pension schemes was the reason for the large pendency.
According to information received from the social welfare department, Udhampur, "Under the state-sponsored Integrated Social Security Scheme (ISSS), 4,397 disabled are getting pension from the district social welfare department, but still 1,489 people, who had applied for pension in 2008, are waiting for the benefit to reach them, all due to non-availability of funds from government.
Reports said out of total 4,397 beneficiaries, 1,664 are from Udhampur , 2,231 from Ramnagar and 502 from Chenani tehsils of district. Those who have applied for disability pension from 2008 to July 2010 in Udhampur district and are still awaiting to avail the benefit include 602 from Udhampur, 737 from Ramnagar and 150 from Chenani tehsils.
Sham Lal, a disabled from Ramnagar, said he had applied for disability pension four years back in 2009, but till date he had not received a single penny and the reply he gets is shortage of funds. He added that he has lost hope now. "The department concerned might sanction pension after my death," he said.
A senior officer of the social welfare department, on the condition of anonymity, said the paucity of funds is the sole reason for the delay in clearance of pending pension cases of the disabled in the district.
"We have requested the Centre for providing adequate funds to give financial assistance to these people. The state government will be able to clear the pending cases as and when the union government clears the proposal," the officer said.