MIN KUMAR DAHAL
SINDHULI: A 69-kilometre long piggyback ride of a septuagenarian to collect old-age allowance today came to nought, thanks to an unscrupulous secretary of his VDC.
This is a story of 79-year-old Dambar Bahadur Sarki of Bhuwaneshwori VDC in Sindhuli. Sarki’s kin carried him piggyback from his village to the Sindhuli District Development Committee for he had not received his old-age allowance for months.
DDC staffers mistook him for a sick old person and one of them as a do-gooder, thinking that his kin might have brought him there by mistake, said, “It’s not a hospital.” Sarki then told the DDC staffers that he was not sick and that he, in fact, had not ended up there by mistake. “Sir, it has been four months, and I have not received my allowances,” the septuagenarian told the DDC staff. He also laid his case before Local Development Officer Dhruba Bahadur Khadka, who then asked his sub-ordinates to look into the matter.
Much to the surprise of LDO Khadka and whole DDC staff and much to Sarki’s chagrin, it was found that Bhuwaneshwori VDC secretary by the name of Ruplal Devkota had already drawn Sarki’s allowances till the month of Asadh (mid-July).
Bhuwaneshwori VDC Secretary Devkota had even submitted fake receipts showing Sarki had received all his allowances.
The government provides old-age allowance of Rs 500 a month to senior citizens.
LDO Khadka pledged action against the VDC secretary in question. “As he is currently out of the district, it will take some time, but I will do the needful to provide you your allowances as soon as possible,” LDO Khadka consoled Sarki.
A downhearted Sarki had no option but to return empty-handed; a long journey back home, again riding piggyback.