Elderly woman forced to collect pension in wheelbarrow

It is a story being presented as “ridiculous” (caricato), but it hides the level of hardship that remains a way of life for so many nationals.

A 76-year-old woman in Elvas – a town famous for its UNESCO world heritage – was wheeled 2.5 kms along a busy main road yesterday to collect her partner’s pension.

As one news source explained, the 59-year-old man needed her with him as he cannot read or write. He also does not have a car.

Though unable to walk well, the man’s partner can read and write – thus the reason for their bizarre journey along a busy main road.

Rádio Elvas was alerted to the story when drivers passing the couple on the EN4 called the station – many concerned for the woman’s safety.

Police and firefighters were called, and the town’s mayor has now guaranteed that the council will step in to help in future.

As a council source told Rádio Elvas: “Many times we don’t get to hear of (problematic social) situations, and it is more complicated to resolve them. In future, the couple can ask for help from the council as we are available to help them as we are to help other couples”.

As it was, town firefighters took the couple home.

Rádio Elvas explains they live in “degrading circumstances, without the minimum habitability or any available relatives”.

The elderly woman’s partner however assured the station that the couple does “not go hungry”.

He did say, however, that if they had “some help” life would be “less complicated”.

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