In a poignant incident, Girijamma, a 77-year-old resident of Kunibelekere in Harihar taluk, Davangere district in Karnataka, embarked on a grueling two-kilometer crawl to her local post office.
Elderly Woman’s Grueling Crawl Sparks Outcry in Karnataka
The motive behind this extraordinary journey was the abrupt cessation of her monthly pension amounting to Rs. 10,000, a lifeline she relied upon for sustenance. Facing dire financial straits and devoid of funds for alternative transportation, Girijamma resorted to crawling as her last resort to seek answers regarding the abrupt halt to her pension.
Girijamma, who is childless and lives with congenital physical disabilities, found herself in a distressing situation as her regular financial support vanished. With no money for an auto or bus ride, her determined crawl to the Kunibelekere post office became a symbol of her dire circumstances. In a video capturing this heart-wrenching incident, which went viral, Girijamma explained her predicament, emphasizing the two months without the crucial pension. The public outcry that ensued prompted intervention from village panchayat officials.
Despite enduring blisters on her feet from the arduous crawl, Girijamma’s allegations raised concerns. She claimed that her pension, usually disbursed through the post office, had been abruptly stopped without prior notice since November 2023. However, government officials countered, asserting that she had received uninterrupted pension payments from 2012 until November 2023.
The conflicting narratives added complexity to the unfolding pension dispute. Fueled by the significant public outcry, village panchayat officials, supported by an Asha worker from Kunibelekere, intervened swiftly. Girijamma was brought to the attention of the local tahsildar, and the village panchayat officials promptly took her to Harihar Hospital for necessary treatment. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by elderly individuals reliant on pension support and highlights the importance of compassionate and timely responses to such crises.