Sunday 23 April 2023

70-yr-old in viral clip to get pension at home-Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman comes to aid of woman trekking miles for pension

 70-yr-old in viral clip to get pension at home-Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman comes to aid of woman trekking miles for pension

 BHUBANESWAR/KORAPUT: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday came to the aid of a 70-year-old Odia woman, Surjya Harijan, who was caught on camera, trekking for miles to reach the nearest SBI branch to receive her monthly pension of Rs 500. 

Surjya was seen walking with the help of a plastic chair from her village Banuaguda to reach the SBI's Jharigaon branch in Nabaragnpur district, seven km away on Thursday, where the government transfers all the money under various social security schemes to the beneficiaries' bank accounts.

SBI officials visited her house on Friday and promised to deliver her pension amount to her doorstep. They also provided her with a wheelchair to ease her mobility.

Responding to a video clip of the woman in social media, Nirmala prodded officials concerned to take cognizance of the issue. "Can see the manager of the @TheOfficialSBI responding but yet wish @DFS_India (department of financial services) and @TheOfficialSBI take cognizance of this and act humanely. Are they no bank Mitra? @FinMinIndia," the finance minister tweeted.

"The senior citizen faced difficulty in withdrawing her old age pension from the nearby customer service point (CSP)/ Bank Mitra in Jharigaon block on account of her fading fingerprints not being recognized by the biometric reader," an SBI statement said, adding that the nearest link branch, SBI Jharigaon, immediately paid the pension amount.

The SBI said the elderly woman has also been reassured by the branch manager that pension would be handed over to her doorstep. The SBI also donated a wheelchair to the pensioner to facilitate her movement, while saying that the bank was also examining options of installing Iris scanners at banking correspondents/CSP (Bank Mitra) channels to address the challenges faced by senior pensioners.

"I am happy now," she was heard saying in a video shared by the SBI on Friday.

"A few months back I had an accident and since then I am unable to walk properly. As for the past four months, I had not received my pension, so I decided to visit the bank as I have to put in my biometric signature to withdraw the amount," Surjya had said earlier. While her elder son works outside the state, her younger son works as a daily labourer. "I walked with the help of a chair after bank officials said that there is a mismatch of my finger in the biometrics," she added.


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