Rahul makes phone call to blind war veteran

Rahul makes phone call to blind war veteran

Hours after the announcement of the one-rank, one-pension for retired defence personnel in Parliament, Rahul Gandhi was quick to make a phone call to an unknown blind war veteran in Punjab, who seems to have made a lasting impression on the Congress vice-president’s mind last week.

The unexpected call left Havaldar Kaka Singh of the Bengal Sappers speechless. Singh was just one face among scores of ex-servicemen who interacted with Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Valentine’s Day.

Singh, who today struggles to make ends meet, lost his vision 50 years ago to splinter injuries during heavy shelling on the Khemkaran border in the 1965 war with Pakistan. Singh was then posted with the 51 Engineer Regiment.

He also played an active part in the 1962 Sino-Indian war. But after the war, Singh was medically boarded out.

Singh said the Central and the Punjab government had then announced 30 acres of land, one lakh in cash, one free house for the sacrifice he made for the nation.
Talking to Deccan Herald, retired Col R S Boparai and Col C J S Khera, president and general secretary of the Ex-Servicemen Joint Action Front said not a “penny was given to him, what to say of any gallantry award”.

Col Khera said Rahul Gandhi listened to Kaka Singh patiently in New Delhi. “You people have sacrificed a lot and I am with you,” Gandhi had remarked.
Kaka Singh doesn’t use a mobile phone. A Punjab Congress office bearer drove down to his small settlement on the outskirts of Chandigarh in Punjab on Monday, with the message that Rahul Gandhi wanted to speak to him. Kaka had lived in the darkness of failed promises all his life, but the phone call assuring him help left a smile on his face. Rahul told him he would be felicitated soon and explained to him how one-rank, one-pension would help him monetarily.
Kaka Singh lost his wife a few months ago and his two sons are in private jobs. His initial pension in 1965, when he was boarded out after 10 years in service, was Rs 65 a month.
DH News Service

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