Jaipur: It was a chance discovery of a lunchbox given to her husband by the Army that gave Raj Kanwar a new hope to receive her husband’s pension. She finally star-ted receiving a monthly pension of Rs 4,000 in December last year.
It is a story of ignorance, neglect, and officialdom that Army veterans have to go through after leaving service.
Chunni Lal had joined the Armed Corps division in 1942. He fought in the Second World War. He retired after completion of his service in 1950. However, he died one and half years later.
His widow, Raj Kanwar, approached the Sainik Kalyan Board for the continuation of her pension. There she was asked for papers, which she didn’t have. She was then asked to bring any identity proof that could establish her claim.
The family struggled without success for 65 years till the lunchbox bearing an Army number was found. It helped trace his service record. The lunchbox was spotted during cleaning of the house in 2016, 64 years after her husband Chunni Lal’s death.
However, for Eshwar Ram’s family the wait was not so long.
A native of Mandawara, he was in Mahar Regiment and fought in the 1965 war. He had even received a medal for his service. He died 8 years ago but his widow, Bhanwari Devi, didn’t rece-ive any pension because there were no papers.
During the cleaning of their house, the family came across the Army medal. Through this, the Soldiers’ Welfare Board initiated the proceedings. According to an official with the Sainik Kalyan Board, this is a big problem with soldiers from rural areas. They are unaware of the process and paperwork required to be completed for post retirement benefits, he said.