Give me poison, border villager denied of aid tells govt

Last stand against apathy

Give me poison, border villager denied of aid tells govt

Santosh Singh, a farmer living in this remote border area of Jammu was 36 when tragedy befell him one hot and humid afternoon in May 1999. Singh was feeding his buffalo when all of a sudden Pakistani troops started firing on the border village. A bullet pierced through the rib cage of Singh rendering him crippled for rest of his life.

Reminiscing the fateful day, Singh told Deccan Herald that it was 11:45 in the morning when life took an ugly turn for him. “Some senior Army officer was scheduled to visit our village that day when Pakistani troops started firing. I was feeding buffalo in the yard of my house. As soon I heard the sounds of blast I tried to escape, but alas…,” he lamented.

Singh was shifted to a hospital in Jammu where, for months, he underwent different surgeries. However, unfortunately for Singh, his spinal cord had been damaged by the bullet.

Singh, who is bedridden since then, has nobody to take care of him except his wife. “We have a small portion of land very near to the border fence which is the only source of income for us. She has to cultivate the land, take care of me and all other responsibilities have fallen on her shoulders. There is nobody in this world to take care of us,” he sighed with resignation.

The crippled old man was promised by the state authorities long ago that his wife will be appointed as a peon in a local government school. However, despite passing of more than a decade, the promise was never kept. “I pleaded before incumbent and previous MLAs to appoint my wife on compassionate grounds, but they too didn’t listen to my woes. In this world, nobody listens to the poor man’s plight,” he said.

His urinary bladder has also got damaged due to the bullet injury and every month he has to visit a hospital for catheter drainage which is another drain on the little resources of the poor family.
“Please ask the government to give me poison so that I will be relived of this pain once for all. I have become a burden on my ailing wife,” dejected Singh said.

He appealed to the government of India to double the peace efforts with Pakistan so that in future nobody has to suffer like him. “Animosity between the two countries has only given hardships to the people living on borders. I wish nobody suffers like me in future,” Singh hoped.

His neighbour Mohinder Singh, an ex-serviceman, said that Santosh Singh hasn’t been given disability pension by the government till date. “It is height of injustice. Please bring his ordeal into the notice of the government and philanthropists so that the poor man gets some relief. The living conditions of the poor family is worse than animals,” he added.

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