Kavita Devi is a 35-year-old widow who lives in Baitu Bhojpi village of Barmer district in Rajasthan with her two girls and one boy. After Shyamlal succumbed to cancer, all Kavita had to support her family was a monthly widow pension of Rs. 500 and a meagre wage as farm labourer (or whatever is her other source of income). This was extremely insufficient to ensure both food and education for the children, and eventually the children were forced to drop out of school. Due to lack of awareness, she did not know of any other government scheme under which she could access benefits and entitlements. So when a Soochna Seva fellow met her and informed her about the Palanhar Scheme, she was pleasantly surprised.
However, it wasn’t there that the fellow stopped. He, in fact, went ahead and even helped Kavita open a bank account, enroll the children under Aadhaar and submitted applications for various schemes that members of the family were eligible for. However, several of her entitlements did not reach her despite an eligible candidacy. It was after a long struggle of 11 months, when she finally received all her payments with arrears, amounting to a total of Rs. 33,000.
Today, she and her family receive regular entitlements under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Bhamsha Yojana and Palanhar Yojana, among others; and the children are back in school.