An elderly couple in Dumka district of Jharkhand has been running from pillar to post for the last 10 years to prove to the government that they are not dead. Seventy five year old Lubin Manjhi and his wife were declared dead in 2011 population survey. The couple lives in Kolhadi village in Saraiyahat block of the district, but have been deprived of government benefits such as old age pension due to the botched up paperwork of government officials.
This is second case in the state after a similar case recently came to light in Jamtara district.
Lubin has visited several government offices to get the error corrected but he has instead become the victim of the Indian bureaucratic red-tapism. The 75-year-old realised that he was officially dead when he went to the block office for his old age pension. Authorities told him that they cannot proceed since he was not alive on papers. Lubin also had a government house approved on his name, but cannot take possession due to the administration’s negligence.
The elderly couple have made rounds of block, district offices and met senior officers to get the issue resolved. Not just that, Lubin and his wife have also urged Chief Minister Hemant Soren, but their appeals have fallen on deaf ears.
The elderly couple is living in a dilapidated house far away from their son. Lubin and his wife have become so frustrated with the system that more than government benefits, they now want action against the involved officials who are responsible for the mistake in the first place, and those who failed to course-correct the lapses.
However, Dumka’s Deputy Commissioner Ravishankar Shukla has given the elderly couple a glimmer of hope. Shukla has taken cognizance of their situation, and assured that action will be taken in the case.
Lubin and his wife, too, are hoping for a turnaround soon, but they will have to continue, for some more days or even months, to suffer the agony unleashed by the administration 10 years ago.