Amitabh Bachchan has become one of the first beneficiaries of the Uttar Pradesh government's latest pension scheme, which grants Rs 50,000 per month for life, for people who have been awarded with the state's Yash Bharti Samman.
More than 150 people whose origins traced back to UP since the inception of the award in 1994 were conferred with the honour, which is given for gaining eminence in the fields of films, art, literature and sport, reported The New Indian Express. The recipients are also awarded with Rs 11 lakh during the ceremony.
However, according to an article in Deccan Chronicle, Amitabh has requested the government to redirect the entire amount designated for his family towards charitable schemes.
"Whereas I respect the UP Government’s honour of the Yash Bharati Award to members of my family, and their decision as per reports in the press, for providing pension of Rs 50, 000 per month to each recipient, I am requesting the UP Government, with all humility, to redirect the entire amount designated for my family towards any noble charitable scheme or cause that benefits the poor and the needy. I shall be writing to the Chief Minister in this regard, in a separate communication," he said in a statement.
Both Amitabh and his father and noted Hindi writer Harivansh Rai Bachchan have been honoured with the UP government's award.
One of the highest pension programmes in the country, the announcement is raising questions as to why is there the need to give such a hefty amount, as most of the awardees come from a very well-to-do background, wrote The Times of India.
Other government schemes such as the Freedom Fighters pension Scheme gives out Rs 20,129 per month, the former Andaman prisoners get Rs 23,309 pm and only the BCCI pays cricketers who played at least 100 Test cricket matches, Rs 50,000.