Lengthy clearance delaying cancer aid in Assam

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Guwahati, Aug 7 (UNI) Mritunjoy's battle against death was destined to be doomed, but the non-receipt of help promised by the Assam government snatched away from this youngster the chance to add a few more moments to his short life.

As Mritunjoy Tapadar lost the battle against cancer early one morning, his old father sat sobbing and thinking how a few thousand rupees promised by the state government could have enabled his son to see a few more mornings.

And maybe, some miracle by then could have gifted Mritunjoy a new lease of life.

Kulendra Namasudra is another hapless father who is counting the last few months of his little daughter's life. Battling against cancer, the little girl is yet to receive the government help assured to her.

Many cancer patients in the state have to confront not just the depression due to the disease, but also the long wait for sanction of government aid to cancer patients under the Mukhya Mantri Jibon Bima Achani.

''The process for sanction of cancer aid is extremely lengthy due to the several verification steps incorporated to make it foolproof,'' Silchar District Social Welfare Officer Ancer Ahmed Laskar said.

By the time the money was finally sanctioned, many patients had already lost their lives.

In Silchar, 60 patients were sanctioned Rs 25,000 each but only 40 received their cheques as the others had died before the money could reach them.

Patients' families blame the delay on bureaucratic formalities, which take a long time in clearing the claims by adopting a lengthy procedure of forming committees to ensure 'flawless' execution.

The families advocated that a procedure involving lesser officials competent to certify the merit of a claim would help in percolating the benefits of this scheme to the patients.

While some schemes fail to benefit people due to corruption at various levels, this particular scheme has not succeeded completely due to the tedious steps incorporated to ensure no malpractice.

UNI XC-SG DPM SB SSC1151

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