Our soldiers give away their lives for us without expecting anything in return. Neither do we bother to take care of them and their families as our moral responsibility. Even our government does so little for them. A perfect example to this is the sad reality of a Kargil Hero Satbir Singh who was ready to give away his life for our country but our nation didn’t give back anything in return.
Satbir Singh is a veteran of the Rajputana Rifles who got disabled after enemies fired in his right leg during Kargil. After the disability, he took voluntary retirement. The papers show that he was entitled to get the ownership of a petrol pump and one-acre land by the government. However, he runs a juice shop in Delhi to serve his family.
In talk with Indiatimes, the 53-year-old veteran said that he served as an Indian Army soldier in Srinagar for about eight and a half year. He told about how his brothers-in-arms lost their lives in Kargil in 1999 and he also got several injuries. He could barely walk after this.
He consulted private, government and army doctors. And all of them advised him not to get an artificial limb as it causes problem. He told, “First, they have to wear proper socks then tie it properly. It is a cumbersome process. During monsoon and summer seasons, the prosthetic limb sometimes leads to blisters and pockmarks which bothers them a lot.”
He further told that families of those who attained martyrdom were given compensation by the government. However, he was not given anything. He said, “Due to my injury I was in the hospital for a long time and nobody was there in my family who would look after. Kisi ke bacho ko naukri mil gayi, kisi ki biwi ko naukri mil gayi, kisi ko gas agency, kisi ko kheti karne ke liye zameen de di gayi.”
He told that he had to live with a pension of Rs 4,000 per month (as of year 2000). Currently, he is getting Rs 23,000 per month as pension.
He said that he had also approached the Army headquarters and filled a form for the acquirement of a petrol pump which he was entitled to get. He told, “Samvidhaan ke anusaar,1999-2000 mein ye niyam tha ki yudh mein ghayal fauji ko zameen ka ek tukda dekar sammaanit kiya jaayega.”
After his constant efforts, the Central Government took action to allot him a one acre land and a petrol pump. But his application was buried in paperwork for about four and a half year. He was later given the land on which he did farming. However, four years later, this land was also taken away from him.
He said that he was promised Rs 40,332/month pension along with education for his children. He says, “I am getting only half the amount as pension and no education fee for my children.”
And now, he has to run a juice shop in a village to serve his family. He said, “I barely, earn Rs 500 per day through this business. In the past 20 years, I have worked as a vegetable seller, farmer, electrician and at construction sites to earn a living.”
He further added, “I have all the documents ready. I was threatened several times that I should continue with my life as it is else, I shall face dire consequences. But I am not scared and I want to make sure that any other soldier doesn’t have to suffer the same ordeal.”