Rashmi Ranjan

Now the elderly beneficiaries of Amania, Nalapahi and Dakhinadia villages under Ekamania panchayat in Kendrapara district will not have to embark on a perilous boat journey to receive pension as the district Collector has directed bank mitras to provide them with the old-age allowance by visiting their villages.

The directive from Kendrapara Collector came after Odisha’s leading news channel OTV aired the news on the plight of these beneficiaries who used to cover a distance of 17 kilometres to get a pension of Rs 700, putting their lives at risk.

“After the matter came to our notice, we have decided that the elderly beneficiaries need not visit the bank to get their pension. Rather, bank mitras or banking correspondent agents will visit the panchayat on a specific date to distribute the allowance. An order in this regard will be passed today,” said Amrit Ruturaj, Kendrapara Collector.

Notably, the Ekamania panchayat is surrounded by the Brahmani and Kharasrota rivers from four sides. If the beneficiaries chose to go to the bank by the road, they have to cover a distance of 40 kilometres. 

In order to reach Keradagada where the branch of the Bank of Borada is located, the family members of the elderly persons used to first carry them in slings to the river bank. From there, they embark on a boat ride to reach the other side of the river. And from there, they would go to the bank to collect their pensions.

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