In hope for justice, Army widows meet the Chief
Forlorn eyes of 92year- old Preetam Kaur that have light to see nothing more than shadows are waiting for justice for the past six decades.
Having lost her husband Arjun Singh, an army personnel in the Second World War in 1942, Preetam Kaur had no idea as to how would she bring up her six children.
“It was an endless struggle for me as I had to undergo a lot of suffering to settle and marry my children with a single pension. However, what hurts me the most is the apathy of the government towards its soldiers who lay down their lives for the nation," sobs Preetam Kaur.
Unable to walk straight but determined to fight for her right, Preetam Kaur reached the venue of the rally organised by the exservicemen league, Punjab and
Chandigarh, on Sunday.
Gurdev Kaur of Tehar village was another widow who had lost her husband 25 years ago and is living on a meagre pension of Rs 4,000 with her 20year-old grandson.
" My daughter- in- law died when my grandson was just two. My son abandoned both of us to remarry. Ever since, every day has been a challenge for me," rued 80-year-old Gurdev Kaur. "I want that the Indian army should acknowledge my husband's sacrifice and give job to my grandson," demanded Gurdev Kaur.
The duo were a part of the crowd of dozens of widows of defense personnel who are hop- ing against hope that the government after acknowledging the "sacrifice" of their husbands will give them their due rights in terms of respectable pension.
Pointing towards the government apathy, league president Col Bhag Singh further said they were a neglected lot in the eyes of the Indian government, but the league was affiliated to the defense personnel in 53 countries in the world. “The defense personnel from across the world are contributing Rs 2.5 crore annually to the league which were utilised in official and social causes," Col Bhag Singh added.
Another ex-serviceman from Jalandhar said the pension of the Darshan Singh is another exserviceman who has managed to bring up his three children in single pension, but is worried for his 26-year-old disabled daughter Sukhdeep Kaur. Carrying her to the rally venue, Darshan Singh requested the Chief of Army Staff, General VK Singh, to look into the matter. "My polioridden daughter is unable to walk, thus I want that she should become the beneficiary of lifelong disability pension," said Darshan Singh. wives of the defense personnel should be more than the salary as their husbands sacrifice their lives for the nation. “Instead of honouring them, the government leaves them at the mercy of fate as a result they sustain their living working as domestic helps,” said the ex-serviceman.
Wives of martyrs during the ex-servicemen’s rally.