#Article (Archive)

No rest for the ageing poor

Aug 11, 2011, 12:45 PM

There is no denying the fact that money is having less and less value these days, given inflation and the escalating price of commodities, particularly basic commodities like oil, rice, sugar, potatoes and meat.

Where does this leave the pensioner, the retired public servant and their families?

While the market requires, on average, D200 per day per family (D6,000 per month), some pensioners receive only 20%-25% of that amount. Yet, the pensioners like everyone else have an obligation to feed their families.

For this, they cannot depend on alms or on others, especially if they have been a major post holder in an office in the past. The pensioner cannot go around begging, as many still expect the pensioner to be giving. Yet, begging is what many pensioners are almost driven to.

If they are fortunate enough to own a compound, then there are compound rates to settle. There are also NAWEC bills to pay. These costs must be added to the spiraling price of rice and other commodities. How should the pensioner cope with all this?

If full-time workers can hardly make their earnings stretch to the end of the month, then how far will a pensioner stretch?

In short, there is a lot of suffering among the ranks of the retired men and women, who dedicated their lives in one way or the other to the service of the country, and this suffering is being borne silently, in quiet dignity and resignation.

For pensioners, there is little or no hope for a better life until the earth receives them.

People should not be apathetic to the suffering of the pensioners. They should weigh the situation, and show pity.

“He who suffers much knows much” 

Greek proverb