India is historically not the most elder-friendly nation of them all – despite all the ‘cultural’ fuss about respecting your elders. And this particular story, as reported by The New Indian Express, only reinforces that reputation.

Meet Rudana Dehury, a 65-year old physically challenged woman who lives alone and whose pension is her only means to self-sustenance. But getting her ₹300 pension is no easy task for her.

The New Indian Express

In order to receive the ₹300 that feeds her for the month, Rudana has to crawl 2 kms to the panchayat office, crossing NH-55.

Having made several requests to the administration to send the money to her home, no such action has been taken, despite her disability. 

“I had appealed on several occasions that I cannot walk as my condition does not permit me and my pension may be delivered at home. The pleas went unheard and I have to drag myself the distance to get this.”

The government has treated her case with shocking apathy, considering Rudana’s dire physical and financial circumstances. Having denied all her requests, the area’s sub-collector was quoted citing the lack of any provisions to deliver the amount to her doorstep since she still has legal heirs.

But deserted by her husband and two sons years ago, Rudana has no support from her ‘legal heirs’ and is entirely on her own.

All I would like to ask is this. Whatever became of our culture? What became of the many times we were taught as children, ‘Badon ka aadar karo’? What will it take for the administration as well as the younger generation of India as a whole, to stand up and do the right thing – stand on their own – no matter their age and circumstances?