My dad passed away about five months ago at the ripe old age of 94. He had retired as a Superintendent Engineer in CPWD, Delhi, in the year 1975 and had been receiving pension from the central govt. since 1975 to 2014 (about Rs. 40,000/-per month).
In the year 2010, he wrote to the Ministry of Pensions asking to include my mother’s name (Sharadha) as a pensioner. She’s 89 years old now, and she’s the family pensioner.
In the year 2012, due to my father’s failing eyesight, I reminded them (MoPn) by email as well as by phone. I was told that they were processing the request and will be sent the revised papers “soon”.
It was 2014, and my dad had still not received any confirmation about my mom’s name being included as a family pensioner. He passed away assuming his wife will not be the recipient of that 25,000/- Rupees per month as her pension. When I went to the bank after my dad’s demise with all the papers, they said my mom’s name was not in the pension payment order. Frustrated, I sent a copy of the earlier correspondence of 2010 to the pension ministry. Within 4 days I got an email from some clerk saying the papers will be ready within a week (not a vague “soon”).
On the fifth day, I got a phone call from a person who introduced himself as Dr. Jitendra Singh and he said that the papers with my mom’s details had been sent to the bank that very day.
I hung up after thanking him. When I checked their website, I found out that Dr. Jitendra Singh was the minister of state for pensions and
personnel grievances, reporting to a Sr. cabinet minister who was Mr. Narendra Modi himself.
When I called back to thank the minister, he modestly said it was the PM’s directive that no woman who has lost her husband recently should be further traumatized by delayed paperwork on pensions. What Manmohan Singh did not do in four years, Narendra Modi did it in just four days!
And last month when my mom had to give her life certificate to the bank, a bank officer came home to get her signature due to her old age. (Last year, I had taken my 93 years old dad to the bank with great difficulty). The bank also confirmed it was a Finance Ministry directive to treat senior citizens with extra sensitivity!!
You may decide to share if this mail brought out tears in your eyes too.
As told by Col. G. Pratap Raju to the Nationlist
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