The Government of Andhra Pradesh claims to be a welfare state with the implementation of several schemes by the government but on the ground, the situation seems to be different, there are several restrictions in place to ensure a major chunk of citizens is not in the beneficiary list for the schemes.
During his padayatra Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy promised to increase the pension amount for the old age people from Rs.1000 to Rs. 3,000, but after coming to power it was changed conveniently stating that it will be implemented in a phased manner initially by giving Rs. 2,250 and gradually increasing it to Rs. 3000/- after 4 years. Similarly, many other restrictions such as only one member of the family being eligible for the old-age pension, senior citizens should be destitute to avail old age pension scheme, were introduced to reduce the number of beneficiaries and reduce the exchequer’s bill.
One such restriction turned out to be a death warrant for an old age woman in the Guntur district. Aprayamma, 90, was beaten to death by her 92-year-old husband. On November 1st Aprayamma received her pension amount of Rs. 2,250 from the village volunteer, her husband M. Samuel who was staying away for a long time due to some differences was not receiving the pension as per the rule by the government of giving pension to only one of the old-age couples. He was dependant on his wife’s pension amount for his livelihood, accordingly, the pension amount was distributed by his wife, but on November 1st after receiving the pension amount, they quarreled over Rs. 200 and in a fit of rage, M. Samuel hit his wife with his crutches, leading to her death. He was taken into custody by the police.
It is important to note that even though the death of the old woman as a result of the actions of her husband, the situation was created by the government’s irrational decision. By not giving pension to both, the husband and the wife, the decision has untowardly impacted the couple who were in their 90s. It is the right of every old age person to live a life of dignity and the duty of the government to ensure the same.