Friday, July 26, 2013

Govt apathy worsens ordeal for war widows


“ IHAVE had enough. My husband died for this nation. Yet, our lives have been ruined,” says an exasperated Shyama Devi, the widow of Maha Vir Chakra ( MVC) awardee Lance Naik Ram Ugra Pandey, who made the supreme sacrifice during the 1971 operation.
For over 40 years, Shyama Devi, in her mid 60s, has been fighting for her pension and other entitlements. Fed up with the government’s callousness, she says, “ I am returning this MVC on August 15.” Sub/ Maj Hony Lt ( retd) Kameshwar Pandey, member of the Indian Ex- Servicemen Movement ( IESM) who has taken up her case, says, “ I am appalled at how the government has let her down. Her application papers are moving between government offices without any outcome.” Daxina Kumari, whose husband Havaldar Laxman Kumar of the Dogra Scout Unit died near the LAC in 2009, also had to suffer government apathy for long.
Finally, an armed forces tribunal directed the defence ministry to release ` 10 lakh with interest.
“ No widow should undergo what I had to. Losing my husband was bad enough,” she sa
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