In a rather unusual request, a group of 10 elderly nuns have approached the state government requesting for pensions meant for unmarried women.

The nuns, all of them aged above 60, are from st Anne's convent in Muttada in Thiruvananthapuram. The Kerala government has a scheme wherein unmarried women above the age of 50 can request the state for a Rs 1,100 monthly pension.

“All of us are aged above 60 and some of us are nursing various ailments and we are finding it hard to find money even to purchase medicines,“ 63-year-old Sister Agnes told Times of India.

The state, however, is in a quandary as they say that the nuns had voluntarily chosen to stay unmarried as part of religious practice and belief. The local welfare department now has written to the state requesting clarity on the issue.

St Anne's convent comes under the Latin Catholic church. The decision by the nuns to approach the welfare board has not gone down well with the church authorities. Eugine H Pereira, vicar general of Latin Archdiocese, Thiruvananthapuram told TOI that the nuns are being "misled" as the church does not encourage such requests.