Benefit Abuse: Women drawing widow pension despite remarriage in Kanpur; notice sent
A total of 24 married women have been found receiving these widow’s pensions, raising serious concerns amongst authorities.
KANPUR A recent beneficiary verification drive aimed at safeguarding pensions designated for widows has exposed a disconcerting situation in Kanpur. A total of 24 married women have been found receiving these widow’s pensions, raising serious concerns amongst authorities.
Jaideep, the district probation officer, expressed his dismay at the situation, said, “These are the women who remarried within months of the death of their first husbands.” These 24 women have, until recently, been quietly pocketing a monthly stipend of ₹1,000 each, prompting immediate action by the authorities.
In response to this discovery, the pensions to these women have been terminated, and notices demanding the repayment of the erroneously received funds have been dispatched. The government in Kanpur provides pensions to approximately 58,000 widows, making the need for stringent verification protocols all the more vital.
The comprehensive verification exercise, conducted for the year 2023, revealed that these 24 women, distributed across nine development blocks, had been inexplicably continuing to avail themselves of widow’s pensions despite entering into remarriage.
One striking example is Deepa Kumari from the Bilhaur block, who remarried within a mere four months of her husband’s demise. Astonishingly, she managed to enroll in the widow’s pension scheme and was surreptitiously drawing these funds for a staggering two years.
Similarly, Pragati Singh’s husband passed away in 2020, and she wasted no time in remarrying the same year. She had been quietly collecting her widow’s pension in the Bhitargaon block. However, when verification teams reached the addresses provided by these individuals, they found no trace of them. With diligence and determination, the teams eventually managed to track down these beneficiaries, only to discover that they had indeed remarried.
Additionally, during the survey, it was revealed that the addresses of 5,000 widows could not be adequately verified, and these women had failed to link their Aadhaar cards with their bank accounts. Officials have not ruled out the possibility that some among this group may also be wrongfully benefitting from the pension scheme.
This revelation has not only raised eyebrows but has also underscored the need for a more rigorous and foolproof verification process to ensure that the benefits meant for deserving widows reach the intended recipients, thereby preventing any further exploitation of this crucial welfare scheme.