Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS) was launched by the Central Government, in February 2009, as part of the National Social Assistance Programme, which was implemented in the year 1995. It is not the same as the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS), which is a pension scheme for old aged persons, whereas Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme provides pension for widows only.
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It was launched with the objective of improving the livelihood and welfare of widows living in rural areas. Women who were dependent on their husbands, find it extremely hard to bear the financial burden of daily life, after husband’s demise. For this reason, the primary goal of this scheme is to ensure that widows living Below Poverty Line (BPL) get financial allowances and benefits from the Central and State Governments. The scheme is managed by the Department of Rural Development, which sanctions and releases funds to be distributed to the beneficiaries.
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The beneficiaries of the scheme are offered the following benefits under the scheme:
The scheme is run by the central government with state governments expected to contribute an equal amount to the scheme. Under the scheme, widows living below the poverty line get a monthly pension between Rs 300 and Rs 500. The pension is transferred directly to the beneficiary’s Post Office Savings Account or an account held at a public sector bank. Widows who are unable to provide for themselves, get financial support to rely on.
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The Gram Panchayat / Municipality is required to list the beneficiaries eligible under the scheme. The number of eligible beneficiaries is determined based on field reports of all beneficiaries who satisfy the eligibility criteria. The State / Union Territories are required to furnish a certificate stating that all eligible widows have been covered under the scheme.
The list of documents required while applying for the scheme are given below:
A person who wishes to apply for the scheme can do so, either online or by visiting the Corporation Office.
Application forms are available free of cost, in English and local languages at the office of the Commissioner Municipal Corporation or Janpad Panchayat Officer. A designated officer, appointed by the state government issues the application form. The implementation of the scheme at the district level has been entrusted to Zilla Parishad, and at the local level, to the Gram Panchayat / Municipality. The applicant must submit the filled form along with all the required documents at the office. The application form is also available for print online. The applicant can download the application form and submit the completed form at the office of the Commissioner Municipal Corporation or Janpad Panchayat Officer.
Once the application is approved, the beneficiary will be issued a Pension Passbook.
If additional information or guidance is required, it can be obtained from the following places:
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