The Ministry of Human Services should not put old people through the stress of sending them away to bring a photocopy of their new ID card
One would expect a government to care for its people, especially those who are in the twilight of their years. I refer to the old age pensioners who have contributed significantly to the development of this country. These people, who should retire gracefully with basic amenities, find it very difficult to survive in this rough economic climate which favours those who have and militates against those who don’t have.
And if that is not enough burden for them to bear, go to the Ministry of Human Services and look into what goes on there. Imagine those who now apply for old age pensions are told to go and bring a photocopy of a new ID card. No advice as to the nearest place where it could be done.
Why can’t a ministry that caters for the aged have the facility of a photocopying machine to help the indigent and sometimes decrepit to avoid this kind of stress?
When the application form is filled out with the ID photocopied and returned, one is told that he/she would get a call in January, that is three months after the application is made.
Is this a Guyana thing that the old and vulnerable should be neglected? Why this protracted period of time? Would the pension be retroactive? Is money for pensions in short supply? Or does the ministry have to reorganize for greater efficiency and productivity? Come on, these are the people who worked so hard to build this country. They have outlived their ability to earn a living through gainful employment. Many of them have nothing tangible to sustain them but a little NIS and the old age pension.
I am asking those concerned, maybe the Minister of Human Services to please look into this policy of delaying access by old age pensioners to an old age pension which is due to them by right – not on merit, but across the board.
Some pensioners who can hardly move around on their own have complained that they have to travel to areas outside where they now reside to receive their old age pension, and that is quite stressful.
The poor and vulnerable of society should always be catered for by those who have their interest at heart. I am not asking for much. I just want these practices to stop. Much more assistance should be offered to old people. Don’t put them through the hassle of leaving the ministry to find a copier, to return to the ministry and have to wait for months for a paltry sum of US$50 ($10,000) which cannot match the old-age cost of living.
(Name and address provided)