MUGU, Feb 8: The government of Nepal has been providing social security allowance to children below five years of age, elderly people above sixty years and also to the disabled. The locals of ward 4 and 5 of Soru Rural Municipality have not yet received their allowance this fiscal year.
Altogether 83 people including children, senior citizen and disabled people of ward 4 have been deprived of allowance while there are 130 such people in ward 5. The second four-month period of the current fiscal year will end next month but the locals have not even received the allowance of the first four-month period.
"Earlier, the VDC officials used reach our homes to provide our allowance but the current ward secretaries don't even show their faces to us," said Chandrakala Shahi,65, of Soru-5.
According to Ganesh Bahadur Budha, chairperson of ward 5 of the rural municipality, ward secretary Hasta Bahadur Shahi who was entrusted with the responsibility of distributing social security allowance has been out of contact since months. Chairperson Budha further informed that Shahi has not attended the ward office since July.
During Dashain, ward secretary Shahi had reached a village to distribute the allowance but didn't do so following a controversy. Since then, he has never returned back, informed Dal Bahadur Shahi, chairperson of ward 4. As a result, locals have been reaching to ward office along with their identity cards seeking allowance.
Reportedly, ward secretary Shahi has been at large without distributing Rs 1.4 million sanctioned for the social security allowance. Irked locals have time and again picketed the ward office demanding their allowance.
Shahi had filed a case at the District Administration Office (DAO) accusing the locals of attacking him and snatching away Rs 450,000 from him which was meant for distribution. According to Lok Bahadur Shahi, chairperson of Soru Rural Municipality, efforts have been made to settle this case at the earliest. Until then, the money will be collected from ward secretary Shahi's salary, he informed.
Government provides Rs 1,000 to elderly people above 60 and Rs 2,000 for people above 70 as monthly allowance. Similarly, two children of a couple below five years of age are provided with Rs 200 monthly. Furthermore, disabled people under various categories are provided with Rs 1,200, Rs 600 and Rs 400 per month.
Caption: Identity cards of people of Fotu who have been deprived of allowance since the last seven months.