Old And Poor In The Time Of Covid-19 Pandemic In India: A Case Study Of Old Age Pension Schemes

Telephonic survey in all the 30 districts of Odisha was conducted during the period 1st May 2020 to 20th May 2020 covering 1071 sample of IGNOAPS and MBPOAP beneficiaries. 

Based on the findings of this survey we are prompted to conclude that the awareness campaign of the government on Covid-19 is not only reaching a few susceptible people but also the instructions are violated rampantly by them. Secondly, the advance payments of old age pensions to the targeted beneficiaries have been fully or mostly spent with in few weeks. The findings establish the hypothesis of the study that people, irrespective of their economic status tend to spend more if they have more which may not augur well for the old and poor during a crisis period like lockdown as it may ultimately result in their livelihood crisis. It may be more appropriate to extend such assistance more in kind and less in terms of cash during crisis. Perhaps combination of ex-gratia cash assistance, which was given and assistance in kind, could have served the purpose by sticking to the ongoing monthly timeline of releasing pension to the old age people.