Odisha Woman Crawling To Bank Draws Attention, Gets A Tricycle

Bhubaneswar: The challenges faced by the rural population in availing financial services and benefits from various central and state schemes in Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode came to the fore again on Wednesday when 68-year-old Teresa Barla of Badmal village in Sundargarh district was seen crawling to a bank, 20 km away from her house. All she wanted was to check if her Aadhaar number was linked to her savings account and withdraw money.

She took an auto-rickshaw to the SBI’s Grahak Seva Kendra (GSK) at Kutra block headquarters, although why she made that effort remains a mystery, since an SBI GSK is also functional in her village.

Onlookers who could not bear to see her plight brought the attention of the authorities towards her. The panchayat samiti conducted a preliminary inquiry and SBI authorities also met Teresa to record her statement to understand the circumstances that forced her to travel all the way to Kutra.

Teresa has been like this since birth and has always crawled on all fours. According to the Badmal Naib Sarpanch Sayum Samad, she used to stay separately from her family and has been directly getting an old age pension and availing banking services from the Badmal GSK. She did not seek anyone’s help to reach Kutra block headquarters on Wednesday. She had received a tricycle a decade back and was given a new one even now.


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