Skip to main content

Action Aid-supported Gujarat study says, despite 10-year campaign one-fourth of widows get govt pension

Participants at the conference on single women in Ahmedabad
Counterview Desk
Representing single women, mainly widows and divorced poor women, Ekal Nari Shakti Manch (ENSM), a Gujarat-based non-government organization (NGO), has said that despite its decade-old campaign, just about 27 per cent eligible widows are able to get pension they are eligible to get. Results of a survey of single women in Gujarat by the ENMS – which is supported by high-profile NGO Action Act that has its head office in Johannesburg and branches all over the world – say that of the 1,714 widows it interviewed just 465 get pension.
The survey further said that there are 197 women whose pension had begun but for some reason it was stopped. It did not reveal reason for this. Then, 217 women filled up pension form but they have not yet begun getting it. ENMS’ senior activist Hansaben Rathod told Counterview that the organization was “instrumental, following its advocacy efforts which began in 2003, to raise widows’ pension from Rs 550 to Rs 950 per month in 2012.” She alleged, “At that time, present chief minister Anandiben Patel wanted to drop the very idea widow pension.”
Released at the three-day meet of single women, held at the Human Development and Research Centre (HDRC), Ahmedabad, the study found that of the 1,949 women interviewed – consisting of 1,714 widows, 92 divorced and rest of them living alone for different social reasons – 1804 have ration card, 780 are below poverty line (BPL), 277 antyodaya (poorest of the poor), and 536 are above poverty line. It added, of the interviewed women, just about nine per cent, or 181, have landed property in their name, and 573 (29 per cent) have residence in their name.
Carried out in nine districts – Sabarkantha, Tapi, Surat, Patan, Junagadh, Amreli, Kutch, Ahmedabad and Kheda – the survey was carried out in 111 villages and a few urban blocks. Majority of the women surveyed are in the age group 40 to 50 – 764, followed by 545 in the age group 30 to 40, 307 in the age group 18 to 30, 186 in the age group 50 to 65, and 71 aged 65 and above. Majority of them are illiterate – a whopping 73 per cent or 1,420.
Single women telling their stories to participants
Further, the survey said, 990 women – or about 51 per cent – survive as agricultural workers, but just about 24 per cent, or 471, have been able to obtain job under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). “Some of the women told us during interviews that they earn as less as Rs 10 per day for making garland of flowers”, Rathod said. “The primary reason for the survey was to find out the status of single women suffering from sexual exploitation, failure to get property rights, and suffering from social stigma in rural society.”
The study carries several individual interviews. Maliben Barot of Bhachau in Kutch district, abandoned by her husband, lived with her brother and sister-in-law, but was forced to get out of the house, is currently homeless. Kantaben Mer of Bavla in Ahmedabad district, on her husband’s death, began living with her brother, and works as a wage worker. Gitaben Chamar of Radhanpur in Patan distrist is a victim of domestic violence, abandoned, lives in a rented hut and lives by earning wages. Rashidaben Ansari of Bombay Hotel in Ahmedabad is a widow and lives alone in a rented house in the slum areas, and earns by making garlands.

Comments

TRENDING

US research: 40% of India's casteist Facebook posts are anti-reservation, anti-Dalit

By Rajiv Shah
A recent American civil society research has found that 40% of India's casteist posts on Facebook (FB) have anti-reservation slant. Asserting that the reservation policy in India is similar to affirmative action in the United States, the research study, titled "Facebook India: Towards The Tipping Point of Violence Caste and Religious Hate Speech", says, this type of hate content on FB is mainly directed against Dalits and Adivasis.

Sanjiv Bhatt paying price for deposing on Modi role in Gujarat riots: Wife Shweta

Counterview Desk
Following the Jamnagar sessions court ordering life imprisonment to former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt for his alleged involvement in three decades old custodial death case, his wife Shweta Bhatt has said that he has been sentenced for a “for a crime he did not commit”, even as criticizing the Indian Police Service (IPS) Association, Gujarat, for not standing up for him.

Senior advocates targeted because they took up cases against Amit Shah: Lawyers' NGO

Counterview Desk
The Lawyers Collective (LC), an NGO claiming to promote human rights issues, has expressed surprise at the latest move by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register an FIR against the Lawyers Collective (LC), its president Anand Grover and unknown office bearers for alleged violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

How Gujarat govt imposed curbs on livestock export for 'fear' of losing BJP vote share

By RK Misra*
Insidious are the ways authorities function, preaching one thing, practicing quite another. Administrative muscle-flexing to suit political goals was on display when the BJP-led Vijay Rupani government in Gujarat banned the export of livestock days ahead of Eid. Even the Narendra Modi-led government expressed its intent to confirm it countrywide, but stopped short of doing so.

One of the least peaceful countries, India's global peace ranking deteriorates: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report has asserted that India's ranking in the Global Peace Index (GPI) is 141st among 163 countries, deteriorating by four ranks in a year. Ranking 163 countries by providing a score to each, the report, prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), headquartered in Sydney, Australia, has found India to be one of the least peaceful nations in the region.

Demand for Bharat Ratna to Dalai Lama as top RSS leader warns China of 'strong' action

Nava Thakuria*
Dharamshala: Indian supporters for a free Tibet have urged the Government of India to confer Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour, on the Tibetan spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, for his “immense contributions” in creating goodwill for India in the last six decades. A declaration, adopted at the 6th All-India Tibet Support Groups’ Conference held on June 15 and 16 in Dharamshala township of Himachal Pradesh, said that the Nobel laureate continues to be a holy ambassador of Indian culture enriched with non-violence, compassion and religious harmony.

Sabarmati 'cleaned up' swimming pool style: Untreated effluents discharged in river

Counterview Desk
In a fresh letter to the secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India, senior Gujarat environmentalists Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) have taken strong objection to the recent clean-up drive of the about 11.3 km stretch of Sabarmati riverbed undertaken by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), terming it as “swimming pool type clean-up.” The river’s total length is 371 km.

Jharkhand mob lynching: Adivasis protest police 'inaction', FIR against victims

Counterview Desk
The Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch (JJM), a civil rights network, on Monday sponsored a protest against the police action against the Adivasi victims of the lynching which took on April 10, 2019, in Jurmu village of Dumri block in Gumla district of Jharkhand. The incident led the death of Prakash Lakda, aged 50.

Gujarat govt 'considers' temples, charitable institutions as shops and establishment

By Pankti Jog*
The Gujarat state assembly recently passed a new law which would "govern" the working condition of shops and establishments. One of the most talked about provisions of the Act is, it allow shops and establishments across Gujarat to function 24 hours.

There is no 'separate' Kashmir story, as there is for Afghanistan, Nepal, Tibet, Palestine

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of South Asia. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. The name Kashmir derives from the Sanskrit Kashyapmeru. The Greeks knew it as Kaspeiria. Herodotus called it Kaspatyros.