Ex-Armyman's widow to get pension 69 years after husband's death

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Pithoragarh (U'khd), Apr 6 (PTI) The 81-year-old wife of an ex Armyman will get family pension 69 years after the death of her husband, thanks to the efforts of a social worker here in Uttarakhand.

The credit for the sudden windfall in the octogenarian's life, who was widowed at the age of 12, goes to social worker D S Bhandari who was the first to notice her plight. When Bhandari learnt that Paruli Devi was eligible for the family pension scheme as her husband, Gagan Singh, had died in an accident while still in service, he ran from pillar to post to ensure that she availed its benefits.

'After I came to know about Paruli Devi who lives with her brothers at Lunthura village ever since becoming a widow on May 14, 1952, I could not stop myself from helping her out,' Bhandari, who took up social work after his retirement seven years ago as a treasury officer, said. 'I enquired into the matter and found that she was eligible to get pension under ex-servicemen's family pension scheme announced by the Government of India in 1985.

'The office of the chief comptroller and auditor general of defences services in Allahabad, has finally sanctioned her family pension with retrospective effect from September 22, 1977. She is to get over Rs 20 lakh as arrears besides other dues,' he said. The octogenarian was overwhelmed by tears of joy when she got to know about the development.

'I do not need the money, but I am happy that the government has recognized my husband and myself. This gives me the greatest satisfaction,' she said.