HAS anyone in the high echelons of government departments spared a thought for people who have given their sweat and blood to serve the nation against emoluments that amount to a pittance.
They work in stressful conditions for many years and when they reach retirement, they are meted out discriminatory and humiliating treatment, by granting them a meager pension that hardly helps them to meet both ends. As seniors their health, financial, social, etc. problems get compounded while their monetary resources shrink.
A vast majority of senior citizens live in misery though they have given their best years to serve the country.
Medical facilities provided to them in government hospitals are not adequate enough to cater to their requirements. They have to climb stairs, walk on uneven ground, and stand in queues for longer durations than they can endure. They are not able to buy medical aids needed to make them mobile and thus are confined to their homes, causing them frustration etc. Their medical allowance is a pittance compared to sky-rocketing prices of medicines. The annual increment is disproportionate to the galloping market prices.
Last year a 25pc increase was allowed in the pension of those who attained the age of 85 years. If the government wants to mitigate the pensioners’ hardship, the age limit should be reduced to 70 years.
The government should do the needful in the coming budget to enable old pensioners to live an honourable life and not die in pain and frustration.
Ali Asghar Awan
Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2017