Courtesy: Bangalore Mirror ; Edition dated: 14th March, 2015
A brave soldier who survived the 1962 war with China could not win his battle for the only source of livelihood post-retirement – his pension for the 39 years he was alive after leaving service.
And thanks to apathy of army authorities, the suffering of his family continues 13 years after he is dead and gone.
The strange case of late sepoy M M Nanaiah of Madras regiment (no.2532793) came to light after the army canteen facility to his family was withdrawn in 2011.
Nanaiah’s wife had approached Mysuru-based VeKare Ex-Servicemen Trust (which also operates from Bengaluru), which takes up the cause of ex-servicemen from across the country.
The president of the trust, air force senior non-commissioned officer Mandetira N Subramani, who took up the case, was astonished to discover last month that a blunder of not posting a pension pay order (PPO) sanctioned way back in 1963 by the records officials had devastated the war veteran’s family.
Nanaiah had served the Indian army for 15 years from March 20, 1948 to July 5, 1963.
Later, he kept on applying for his pension with the records to Madras, Wellington and Ooty regiments where he had served. However, he never received either a PPO or a reply. Efforts went on during his lifetime but in vain. He passed away in 2002.
“His wife M N Kamala too has not got her due till date, making it a classic case of government apathy,” Subramani told Bangalore Mirror.
After Nanaiah’s death, the only facility his wife could get from the army was the canteen facility from Karnataka and Kerala Sub Area’s Golden Palm canteen, where one can avail groceries and other amenities at subsidised rates.
However, in another jolt, it was also withdrawn in February 2011. The officials had withdrawn canteen facility stating that Nanaiah’s wife was not in receipt of family pension and that a proof for receipt of pension and PPO should be produced to avail the facility, Subramani added.
When Subramani demanded records of Nanaiah’s service, it came to light that all the while Nanaiah was fighting his battle for his pension, his PPO sanctioned way back in 1963 lay with the records section of Madras regiment and had never reached either the treasury or Nanaiah.
“Though it appears to be a small error, the damage is irreparable. We will take up the cause of the family,” said Flt Lt M S Lolaksha (retd), director, department of sainik welfare and resettlement.