Khaptad Chhededaha begins distributing social security benefits from ward offices

Khaptad Chhededaha Rural Municipality of Bajura District has started distributing social security benefits from its ward offices.

The municipality, in conjunction with financial institutions, arranged to distribute the allowance from its neighborhood offices as elderly and disabled people in remote areas had to walk for hours to reach the nearest bank in the municipality.

“The Himalayan Bank located in Khaptad Chhedaha will organize mobile camps every three months in each district to distribute the social security allowances. The elderly and the disabled will not have to walk for hours to receive their allowance now,” said said Dil Bahadur Rawat, chairman of Khaptad Chhedaha Rural Municipality.

Kiran Rijal, branch manager of Himalayan Bank in Chhededaha, said the institution started mobile services from Wednesday.

“It is the first time that we have launched such a service in the district and the beneficiaries seem very happy,” said Rijal. “I think the banks of the other municipalities of Bajura will also follow.”

To benefit from the service, the district offices must provide the contact details and account numbers of those who cannot go to the bank. The bank then reconfirms the identification of the beneficiaries before paying them the allowance.

In April, a field report was published in The Kathmandu Post about elderly and disabled people in Bajura having to walk for two to three days to get their social security allowance. Many beneficiaries were found to have stopped receiving their allowance because they could not walk.

With the start of mobile camp services, beneficiaries will no longer have to go through all the difficulties to receive their allowance. They expressed their gratitude to the representatives of the people and the employees of the bank and the town hall.

Kari Rawat, 94, was one of those who had stopped receiving their allowance because he could not walk.

“Now I can get my allowance in my own village. I am very happy with this new arrangement,” he said.

Krishnaraj Joshi, the municipality’s administrative director, said there were up to 120 elderly and disabled people in the municipality’s seven wards who cannot walk.

“The bank’s effort to distribute the allowance in the service for people’s convenience is commendable,” Joshi said.

The bank also provides online services, but since there is no internet connection in rural areas, the service cannot be activated, Joshi said.

Elderly people in Himali Rural Municipality, another local unit in Bajura, have to go through double the trouble to receive their allowances since remote villages are at least a day’s walk from the nearest bank. Beneficiaries from Gumba, Bamu, Baudi, Paudi, Kiudi and Bichchhya, among other locations in the local unit, have to walk for days to reach the nearest bank in Kawadi and walk as many days to return home. About 3,000 people receive social security benefits in the rural municipality of Himali.

Elderly people and people with disabilities in almost every village in Bajura’s nine local units face the same hardship to receive social security benefits.

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