Mrunal Manmay Dash

An old man in Nayagarh’s Daspalla town was seen walking with the support of a makeshift crutch made from iron pipes on Wednesday.

Upon inquiry, he revealed that he is handicapped and cannot walk without a crutch. He walked with the help of that crutch from Godibida, three km away from the town, to follow up on his application for a tri-cycle and old age pension.

The old man, Sukara Behera is a resident of Bhogara in Nayagarh district. But he is currently staying with his daughter at Godibida.

When OTV caught up with Behera on his way back to his daughter’s place, he said, “I cannot walk without a crutch. I need a tri-cycle, pension, and allowances under government schemes. But nobody is giving me that. In fact, I have been running pillar to post for the same, but in vain.

However, the Block Development Officer (BDO) of Daspalla, Sanjay Kumar Acharya denied reports of Behera being handicapped. In a telephonic conversation with OTV, Acharya said, “Behera is not handicapped; he just has a fractured leg. He never demanded tri-cycle in front of me.”

“If at all he is handicapped, then he needs to come to the health camp organized by the administration and obtain a medical certificate from the physician. Only then we will be able to provide him a tricycle,” he added.

Recently, the struggle of a septuagenarian woman in Odisha to avail old-age pension hogged the headlines and exposed the grave lapses in the system. Surya Harijan, a resident of Jharigaon in Nabarangpur district, was seen walking barefoot in scorching heat with the support of a broken chair to reach a bank to collect her pension.

Later, Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman expressed concerns over the incident and wanted the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Department of Financial Services to take cognizance and act humanely following which the SBI assured to deliver her pension at her doorstep from the next month.

The SBI also promised to hand over a wheelchair to Surya Harijan.

  • Reported by:
  • Sanjeeb Sahoo