Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Posted at: Dec 8, 2018, 2:33 AM; last updated: Dec 8, 2018, 2:33 AM (IST)ARMED FORCES FLAG DAY

He fought for nation, now battling for his life, says kin

He fought for nation, now battling for his life, says kin
Station Commander, Vajra Corps, Jalandhar, Brig SS Balaji gives a cheque to Nikka, an ex-serviceman, during a function to mark the Armed Forces Flag Day at the Punjab State War Heroes Memorial in Jalandhar on Friday. Tribune photo: Malkiat Singh

Aakanksha N Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 7

Usha Devi’s husband was critically ill and admitted to a hospital, but still, the veteran’s wife made sure that she did not break the ritual that her husband followed for long by coming to a function to commemorate Flag Day.

Usha came to the function, attended the whole ceremony and returned. While talking to The Tribune, she shared the difficulties of her life.

“My husband was posted as a sepoy in the Army and served for 11 years before taking retirement. He fought for his country and now, is battling for his life and we are suffering,” she said.

She said their only son was a daily-wage labourer and it was difficult to run the family.

“Even affording medicines for my husband, who has done a lot for this country, is getting tough,” she said.

Usha also claimed that they were not getting pension from the department concerned. She said she did not knew anything that if her husband ever approached the department or not but she expected the same from them.

“I am hopeful that we will be looked after,” Usha said.

Besides her, another veteran Nikka visited the function.

However, he remembered less about the time he spent in the Army, when he received the honour on stage, though he saluted Army officials with respect.

When asked his age, he replied: “I might be over 100, and I had fought in the World War II.”

Remembering martyrs, serving and veteran soldiers for their courage on the Armed Forces Flag Day, floral tributes were paid to the martyrs and soldiers in a function to commemorate the day at the Punjab State War Memorial.

Deputy Commissioner Varinder Sharma said every soldier had  a commitment to sacrifice his life for the sake of the nation and serving the country by donning a uniform was really a matter of pride and satisfaction for every individual.

He said any veteran or retired soldier and their family members could contact him in case of any problem they face.

Meanwhile, Station Commander, Military Station, Jalandhar, Brig SS Balaji, also paid homage to serving and retired officers of the Indian Armed Forces.

He said the Indian Army had specially appointed Colonel (Veterans) in Jalandhar to immediately redress problems faced by the veteran Army officers and soldiers.

Earlier, welcoming dignitaries, District Defence Services Welfare Officer Major Yashpal Singh (retd) said it was a solemn occasion to pay respect to the brave soldiers for their heroic deeds. He said last year, Rs 20 lakh was collected as the Flag Day fund from the district.

On the occasion, Rs 2.90 lakh was distributed among the needy ex-servicemen and their families. Further, the major contributors for the Flag Day fund were also felicitated during the function.


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