Administration declared ‘dead’ woman now gets widow pension in Odisha

Bhadrak, August 5: A destitute widow who was declared
dead by the Bhadrak district administration in Odisha a year ago finally has
started receiving has started receiving old age pension. More interestingly,
the district administration that had been denying her pension itself started
giving the benefit.
The district administration of Bhadrak woke up after the direction
of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and ensured pension to Malati
Maharana, a poor lady whose name was struck down from the name of the
beneficiaries showing her dead.
Seeing the serious discrepancy rights activist Radhakanta
Tripathy filed a petition at the NHRC.

Malati Maharana of Kandaba village under Gopinathpur panchayat
of Bonth block in Bhadrak district has been declared dead by government
officials even though she is very much alive. The failure of   the district administration in acting over
the plight of Malati Maharana who has been deprived of old age pension due to
erroneous government officials amounts to serious violation of human rights,
Tripathy alleged.
He requested to direct the Bhadrak district to ensure
justice to her. Directing the District Magistrate-cum-Collector to act over the
issue, the NHRC order stated “The authority concerned is directed to take
appropriate action within 8 weeks and to inform the complainant of the action
taken in the matter.”

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