97-Yr-Old Disabled WWII Army Veteran Wins Decade-Long Pension Fight

Photo Credit: Times Of India and Unsplash

The Logical Indian Crew

97-Yr-Old Disabled WWII Army Veteran Wins Decade-Long Pension Fight

Hailing from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, Sepoy Balwant Singh served in the pre-independence Indian Army for nearly three years, two months and 16 days before discontinuing his services after losing his left leg in a landmine blast in WWII.

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Justice was finally delivered to 97-year-old army veteran Sepoy Balwant Singh on November 9, who lost his left leg in a landmine blast while fighting with the Indian Contingent for the allied forces in Italy on December 15, 1944. Singh was discharged two years later on a basic pension reserved for soldiers invalided out of service for war wounds.

The Back Story

Singh enlisted in the 3-1 Punjab Regiment in 1943 and transferred to Rajputana Rifles. Following his return from World War Two, Singh applied for a pension that the government introduced in 1972, guaranteeing "100 of the last salary withdrawn" to Indian soldiers discharged from service because of wounds in various wars before Independence. However, soldiers who lost their limbs or were maimed for life in the two worlds in the two world wars were excluded from this retirement scheme, as per reports in the Times of India.

The case was languishing in the Jaipur unit since 2010 and was taken over by the New Delhi unit of Armed Force Tribunal ruled in favour of non-agrarian soldiers on Tuesday. Singh will be provided with100% pension from 2008 along with arrears due from the year 2010, the year he filed the case- said An administrative member from Chennai.

'We Are Happy'

"Balwant Singh has 100% disability as he lost his left leg. We are happy that he got at least some of the dues denied to him," exclaimed the family.

Hailing from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, Singh served in the pre-independence Indian Army for nearly three years, two months and 16 days before discontinuing his services after losing his left leg in a landmine blast in WWII. His son Subhash Singh acknowledged the tribunal's decision, but the family could dwell in a better state had the authorities come forward to help them. "We lived in a village and knew nothing of the pension for the battle wounded. We came to know about it only after Kargil War (summer 1991)," he was further quoted as saying by the report.

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Writer : Shweta Singh
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Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
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