Karnataka: Haveri’s 89-year-old WWII widow waits for benefits | Hubballi News – Times of India


HAVERI: At 89, Puttamma Churi has few needs in life. She lives with her youngest son, her other children are settled and she has been receiving pension for the past 18 years. There is a sense of hurt though: the government is yet to recognise the services of her husband, Hanumanthappa Churi, who fought in World War II, and offer her the facilities she is entitled to. Even the pension, she points out, came after a 27-year battle.
“My husband was the only person who participated in World War II from Haveri district. However, I struggled to get pension. The authorities are yet to acknowledge that my husband fought for the nation. I have appealed for a site from the district administration but nobody has responded,” said Puttamma.
“Hanumanthappa Churi fought for the nation in World War II when he was just 19 years old. He served for five years (1940-45) and returned after sustaining injuries,” said writer Malatesh Angur. He died at the age of 56, leaving Puttamma to care for their four sons and two daughters.
WWII soldier’s widow got pension only in 2002
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Successive governments, irrespective of the party in office, are yet to sanction a site and land,” said Angur.
The Armed Forces Tribunal (ATF) passed a judgment in 2017, saying there should be no discrimination between soldiers injured in conflict before and after Independence regarding benefits. These include living veterans from the time of World War II and their kin.
After repeated appeals to authorities, Puttamma began receiving pension only in 2002, over two decades after her husband’s death. She lives with her fourth son, Muneshwar. The others, she said, have settled down too, without receiving any of the ex-serviceman benefits.
“I cannot walk anywhere now to ask for benefits, nor do I want all of them. The authorities must consider my appeal for a site though,” Puttamma said.
Will initiate action: DC
Deputy commissioner Sanjay Shettannavar said, “I am not aware of the matter. I will check and will initiate necessary action.”



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Sagar Biswas

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