After three-year battle, Army veteran’s widow has her pension restored

Amaravathi Bai, widow of Army veteran Ganesh Rao Bawle, with M.N. Subramani of VeKare Ex-Servicemen’s Trust in Mysuru.

The family pension of Amaravathi Bai, widow of the late Ganesh Rao Bawle, who served in the Indian Army from 1948 to 1965, had been discontinued more than three years ago. It was finally restored last month.

Though Ms. Bai was receiving the family pension due to her ever since her husband’s death in March 2006 from the K.R. Nagar branch of the erstwhile State Bank of Mysore (SBM), it was stopped abruptly in July 2017 after the bank’s merger with the State Bank of India (SBI) following confusion over the notification of her name in the Pension Payment Order of her late husband.

Ms. Bai, an octogenarian, was made to run from pillar to post for the restoration of her family pension till VeKare Ex-Servicemen’s Trust (VKET), Mysuru, took up the case and intervened on her behalf.

“The wrongly denied family pension for well over three years, amounting to ?5,97,584 for the period July 2017 to December 2020, was credited on December 28, 2020,” said M.N. Subramani, president of VKET. The Hindu had carried a report on the widow’s struggle in the edition dated December 10, 2020.

Though Mr. Subramani acknowledged the bank’s swift response to the appeal for resuming Ms. Bai’s family pension, he said the widow had requested VKET to ask the bank’s Central Pension Processing Centre to credit the cumulative interest and penalty for the denied/delayed payment of family pension from July 2017 till November 2020, as per the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India. The matter will be taken up with the bank authorities, Mr. Subramani said.

Medical allowance

He also said that Ms. Bai had not been paid her fixed medical allowance (FMA) from the day her deceased husband and she became entitled for it — December 1, 1997, and March 17, 2006.

“The present FMA per month is ?1,000 and the total amount due to her as on December 31, 2020, is ?83,028 since neither her deceased husband nor she had opted to become members of the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) since the day it came into existence, as both of them lived in the remote village of Gawadgere in K.R. Nagar taluk,” he said.

Mr. Subramani also said VKET would help the widow put up an application online for membership in the ECHS and only then could the Pension Disbursing Authority stop crediting the fixed medical allowance to her account.

Courtesy: The Hindu

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