Eunuch pension scheme hangs fire

It is a classic case of biting off more than one can chew. Neelam Pandey reports.
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Updated on Jan 22, 2011 10:50 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

It is a classic case of biting off more than one can chew. The highly ambitious MCD had launched a scheme last year to give pension to eunuchs in the city. But ironically enough, it has not been able to release pension funds to its existing beneficiaries — war widows, senior citizens, and physically handicapped, who do not have any other source of income.

Hundreds of eunuchs who are eligible to receive pension from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) have already started making rounds of the civic body offices to register themselves. However, it seems unlikely that they will be given money anytime soon.

For the past 10 months, more than 1.90 lakh people have not received a single penny from the MCD. According to sources, it seems unlikely that the MCD will be able to release the amount with the financial position of the civic agency deteriorating with each passing day.

“The financial condition of the MCD is not very sound, but we are trying to release as much funds as possible. In a number of wards, we had released money till June, but there are still some wards where pension funds were released only till March,” said Yogender Chandolia, chairman, Standing Committee, MCD.

According to the civic agency, even though they have earmarked a sum of R10 crore under the pension fund, it does not have any money to start the process of releasing the amount.

In a number of wards such as Kasturba Nagar, Sangam Vihar, Naraina, Karol Bagh, Rohini, Chandni Chowk, eunuchs have already registered themselves. “In my ward a number of eunuchs have already registered themselves and have been constantly coming to my office to find out when the money will be released. But we have not been given any funds so far,” said Jagdish Mamgain, chairman of the Works committee of the MCD.

In March, last year, the civic agency had announced to give R1,000 as pension to eunuchs. The money is distributed through the municipal councillors every month. The opposition Congress has demanded that pension funds be released immediately. “Due to inefficient leadership, MCD is on the verge of bankruptcy and is not able to carry out its essential duties. If MCD can’t even give pension to the existing beneficiaries, why did they add eunuchs to the list?” Jai Kishan Sharma, leader of Opposition in MCD.

Last year in April, pensions were stopped temporarily to facilitate probe into allegations of irregularities in the pension scheme. The civic body had received complaints, saying that thousands of beneficiaries are drawing pension both from the MCD and Delhi government

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Neelam Pandey covers education sector and gender issues for Hindustan Times. She is a policy wonk with a keen interest in politics.

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