Hyderabad: The Centre moved on Sunday to help an elderly couple and their grandson in Telangana who live a difficult life with no social welfare support. The intervention came after an NDTV report on Saturday underscored their condition with no Aadhaar card, ration card or pension. The report had evoked a tremendous response from viewers who came forward to help. Now, Union labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya has asked officials to visit the family and ensure they get necessary papers to be eligible for social welfare benefits.
- NDTV reported on Saturday on couple with no access to social welfare
- Viewers wrote in to help couple who live on highway 20 km from Hyderabad
- Union minister asks officials to visit family, help them get ID documents
72-year-old Sattuva Motiram Chavan and his wife Ganga Bai, 68, work hard, manually beating iron with hammers in the hot afternoon summer on a state highway in Shamirpet, 20 km from Hyderabad. With the little they earn, they also take care of their 6-year-old grandson Omkar.
Working virtually an entire day will fetch them a couple of hundred rupees. "That is if the contractor comes to collect these," Sattuva said, "Sometimes he comes 2 to 3 days later and till then we are just waiting."
The couple, along with their grandson migrated from Nanded in Maharashtra to Siddipet in Telangana about two years ago.
For Sattuva, once a blacksmith, work dried up with mechanisation of agriculture in their native village and the advent of industry. They moved wherever they could get work since they now had a young grandson also to support.
The elderly couple set up a small tent by the roadside that has been their home for the last nearly two years. A milestone that says 'Siddipet 81 km' is the closest they had to an address.
"No Aadhaar card, no ration card, no bank account, no pension," Sattuva told NDTV yesterday. "When we get work, we can eat," he said.
After the NDTV report, a large number of people wrote in offering support to the couple and help to send Omkar to school. One couple drove down to meet the family and hand over help.
"It was personally very satisfying... to help a fellow human being, in times of need," Mohd Suleha said.
Overwhelmed at the gesture, a grateful Ganga Bai said, "I am very happy that people have come forward to help."
One of the first things the grandmother bought was a pair of jeans for her grandson. When NDTV revisited the family, a beaming Omkar tried out the new pair of jeans to show us.
He has also got a couple of toys that have already become his prized possessions.