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Posted at: Apr 21, 2017, 1:42 AM; last updated: Apr 21, 2017, 1:42 AM (IST)

No govt help, retd Army officer to aid of freedom fighter’s kin

No govt help, retd Army officer to aid of freedom fighter’s kin
Col SS Ghuman (third from right) and his wife at the marriage ceremony of the granddaughter of a World War II veteran in Jalandhar on Thursday. TRIBUNE Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 20

As the successive state governments failed to help the family of World War II veteran and freedom fighter sepoy Mehnga Singh that has been living in penury at Subhana village near Jalandhar Cantonment, a retired Army officer, who adopted the family 16 years ago, today came as a big support in marrying off the martyrs’ granddaughter.

Kamini, the granddaughter of the late sepoy, who represented the 5/11 Sikh Regiment, was working as a domestic help with her mother Gurbaksh Kaur when Col Sadhu S Ghuman (retd) and his wife Kulwant Kaur Ghuman (from the same village) learnt about their appalling condition and decided to help them.

“Kamini was in Class V and she used to skip first three classes so that she could help her mother doing menial jobs for a livelihood. Despite constraints, Kamini always topped in her class. We started giving them Rs 20,000 a month in 2001 to make their four children study. Kamini is the eldest of all. She has done MCA and is now pursuing B.Ed. Two other girls are in college while their son is in Class XII. The monthly assistance that I am offering to this family is Rs 55,000,” said 85-year-old ex-serviceman.

Col Ghuman says: “Sepoy Mehnga Singh served the British Army from 1939-1945 and was dismissed from service for putting down weapons against Japan and taken prisoner in Malaya. He got the status of freedom fighter in 1947. He was again inducted in the Army as this regiment was raised again. I had informed the CO of this regiment and told him about the marriage. Four Army personnel from this Regiment, currently stationed in J&K, today attended the function.”

Col Ghuman shared that the family of the Tamar Patar awardee was a blue card holder. “That’s the only help they are getting from the government. The sepoy’s son, Satpal Singh, is uneducated and sick. I helped him get enrolled under Bhagat Puran Singh Scheme, but till date he got no help. A former Vajra Corps commander and other Army officials then pooled in some money to support them,” he said.

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