About the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
The National Social Assistance Programme is a fully funded centrally sponsored scheme launched by the Government of India on the 15th August 1995. The launch of this programme has taken a significant step towards the fulfillment of the Directive Principles under Art.41 of the constitution. This programme introduced a National policy for social assistance that provides financial assistance to the elderly, widows and persons with disabilities in the form of social pension.
The National Social Assistance Programme was launched with the aim for ensuring minimum national Standard of Social assistance besides other benefits provided by the state. Ever since the inception of the department in 1968, it has been engaged in implementing various social welfare programmes to meet the basic needs of the needy and the poor.
Objective and vision: –
A society, where all persons are free from undeserved want and deprivation and lead a dignified life
To reach out to and provide social security to vulnerable sections of society particularly those living below the poverty line.
The NSAP as presently implemented consists of four sub schemes: –
- The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): –
- Eligibility: – The eligibility age for availing IGNOAPS is 60years and above living below poverty line.
- Amount: – The pension amount is Rs. 200 per month for individuals aged between 60-79 and Rs. 500 for persons who are 80 years and above.
The scheme till 2014-15 has covered 51744 beneficiaries in the age group of 60-79 years of age and 3161 beneficiaries who are 80 years and above.
- The Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): –
- Eligibility: – The eligibility age of widows to avail IGNWPS is 40 years and above living below poverty line.
- Amount: – The pension amount is Rs. 300 per month and on attainment of the age of 80 years the beneficiary is entitled to get Rs. 500 per month.
The scheme till 2014-15 has covered 4464 beneficiaries.
- Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS): –
- Eligibility: – The eligibility age under Indira Gandhi Disability Pension Scheme is for individuals aged 18 years and above with more than 80% disability and living below poverty line.
- Amount: – Under this scheme the department provides a monthly pension of Rs. 300 and on attaining the age of 80 years, a beneficiary is entitled for Rs. 500 per month.
Till 2014-15, the scheme has covered 1276 beneficiaries.
- The National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS): –
Under this scheme, the department, as a one (1) time assistance gives a lump sum of Rs.20, 000 to the bereaved household in the event of death of the bread-winner. A woman in the family, who is a homemaker, is also is also considered as a ‘bread-winner’ for this purpose. The family benefit will be paid to such surviving member of the household of the deceased, who after local inquiry, is found to be the head of the household. For the purpose of the scheme, the term ‘household’ would include spouse, minor children, and unmarried daughter and dependent parents. In case of death of an unmarried adult, the term household would include minor brothers/ sisters and dependent parents.
- Eligibility: – For availing the scheme, the death of such a bread-winner should have occurred whilst he/she is more than 18 years of age and less than 60 years of age.
- Amount: – The amount under this scheme is a one (1) time grant of Rs. 20,000.
The above scheme is implemented in each district through a committee called the District level committee which is headed by the Deputy Commissioner (DC) and assisted by the District Welfare Officer (DWO) along with other district level officers. They work on the modalities of selection of beneficiaries, and forward it to the appropriate authority for approval. After the grant of necessary approval and sanction, disbursement is done by the DWO of each district to the beneficiaries in cash.