Widows of the gallantry award winners and one legally married after their husband's demise would continue to receive an annuity, the Punjab government confirmed on Wednesday, August 4.
As per the obsolete rules, the widows and those who marry the deceased's brother receive the monthly allowance. Now, a monthly annuity would also be granted to the spouse of the deceased gallantry awardee who remarried outside the family, The Indian Express reported.
Case That Brought Change
The development comes months after Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh assured action and policy amendments after a widow of a Kirti Chakra awardee, Major Raman Dada, was denied her annuity after her second marriage.
Major Dada of the 11th Battalion of The Sikh Regiment was killed in action in 1999 in Assam after gunning down three militants. As per rules, wife Anjini Dada was given ₹13,860 monthly from the state government. But the allowance was discontinued in 2005 when she remarried.
After six years, she separated from her second marriage and had a son and a daughter from the two marriages. Anjini struggled to make ends meet after the divorce.
She then approached the District Sainik Welfare Officer in Jalandhar for support. Major Dada's colleagues also came to Anjini's defense and requested the government to look into the matter and reconsider.
But her case was turned down by the Finance Department. But this year, the matter was taken up, and the annuity was re-started on compassionate grounds. The Chief Minister had taken note of the media report.
Secretary of the Defence Services Welfare, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, told the media that the policy was amended in accordance with the Indian Army rules and the CM.
Anjini conveyed her gratitude to the minister for taking up her case and called it a sigh of relief for many others struggling like her. The Welfare department said they have not come across any similar cases so far.