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

Ganga world's second most polluted river, Modi's Varanasi tops microplastics pollution

By Rajiv Shah  Will the new report by well-known elite NGO Toxics Link create a ripple in the powerful corridors of Delhi? Titled “Quantitative analysis of microplastics along River Ganga”, forwarded to Counterview, doesn’t just say that Ganga is the second most polluted river in the world, next only to Yangtze (China). It goes ahead to do a comparison of microplastics pollution in three cities shows Varanasi – the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – is more polluted compared to Kanpur and Haridwar.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

Madhya Pradesh tops India's 145 instances of 'anti-Christian atrocities' this year

Counterview Desk  A report prepared by the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), founded in 1951 as the national alliance of evangelical Christians of the Protestant denomination, in its just-released report, “Hate and Targeted Violence against Christians in India: Half Yearly Report 2021”, has said that an analysis of 145 cases of violence it has documented against Christians, mainly by non-state actors, “stems from an environment of targeted hate.”

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Demolition drive: Why aren't high-end hotels, farmhouses treated same way as Khorigaon?

By Our Representative A public hearing, sponsored by the civil rights group National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) to hear the affected citizens of Khorigaon, off Faridabad, Delhi NCR, has seen local people complaining how their houses are being demolished even as the entire area was converted into a prison through heavy police deployment.

How BSF, police, court turned Bangladeshi woman slave victim into accused in crime

Counterview Desk  Civil rights leader Kirity Roy has strongly objected to the manner in which the Border Security Force (BSF) , the police and the judiciary in West Bengal have treated a 35 years old Bangladeshi woman victim of human trafficking, who was subjected to sexual exploitation for 15 long years, has been declared guilty of violating the Foreigners Act, violating all human rights norms.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example