Councillors in grip of poll fever, dole out pensions for eunuchs
Ahead of municipal polls, councillors are sparing no efforts to woo voters. The decision to give monetary benefits to underprivileged eunuchs was taken a year ago. But the MCD has finally started giving cheques to all those who had applied and were found eligible.
With MCD elections scheduled to be held in April, a number of councillors are trying to expedite the process of giving pensions to all the applicants.
Anita, 59, was the first eunuch to receive the cheque of Rs3,000 from her area councillor Mool Chand Sharma.
“Asking couples for money was the only way I could earn a living. MCD’s decision to provide monetary benefit to people like us is a welcome move,” said Anita, a resident of Sangam Vihar. But she claims the amount is too meagre. “We are just hoping they will increase the amount in due time. If they increase the amount I can stop going around asking for money,” she added.
The civic agency had framed the policy of providing eunuchs monetary benefits two years back. However, the policy could not be implemented as a notification had not been carried out.
MCD’s pension scheme benefits different sections of the society, including the elderly, widows and physically challenged. Just like them, eunuchs too will have to get a recommendation from the area councillor for the pension.
Earlier, ambivalent guidelines had led to a number of complaints on how to use this discretionary quota.
Anita is now trying to ensure other eunuchs in her ward also benefit from this scheme.
“I’ve asked others to apply as well, so that they can at least get the amount next month,” she added.
Each of the 272 councillors can give R1,000 as pension to 700 persons every month. “Funds have been released so that other councillors can also release the amount. There is no cap on the number of eunuchs who avail these benefits.
Those who apply will be given the amount after a recommendation from the area councillor," said Jagdish Mamgain, chairman of MCD Works Committee.