The coronavirus pandemic has thrown up another distressing image of poverty, desperation and an insensitive system, this time from Odisha.
An elderly woman is seen dragging her 100-year-old mother on a cot to a bank to withdraw her pension money in a video that surfaced recently from Nuapada district, some 433 km from Bhubaneswar.
The bank allegedly asked for physical verification of the 100-year-old beneficiary and refused to release the pension without it, so the young woman was forced to take on an arduous journey in scorching heat.
Outrage and requests for help poured on social media after the images were shared. The BJP's Nuapada legislator Raju Dholakia said he has asked the state's Naveen Patnaik government to look into it.
Mr Dholakia's response earned him criticism as he was accused of passing the buck instead of doing something to help.
"We came to know about the incident through the video in which woman was seen being dragged on a cot. She was taken to the bank for withdrawal of her pension money. I request the government to look into the matter and take strict action," Nuapada MLA Mr Dholakia said on Sunday.
Odisha: In a video that surfaced recently, a woman was seen dragging her centenarian mother on a cot, to a bank in Nuapada district to withdraw her pension money allegedly after the bank asked for physical verification. pic.twitter.com/XPs55ElINA— ANI (@ANI) June 15, 2020
The visuals highlight the state of the country's poorest in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen thousands, especially those from the vulnerable sections of the society, losing their jobs and homes.
Odisha has at least 3,909 cases of coronavirus - 1,190 of them active and 11 deaths - with numbers rising steadily since Cyclone Amphan necessitated relief work late May.
(With ANI inputs)