| Ludhiana |
Published: August 9, 2020 6:49:25 am
Her son, Naik Nirmal Singh, was killed in Operation Rakshak in J&K in 1999 at the age of 21. The other sons did not take care of her. So, 80-year-old Jageer Kaur from Kusla village in Mansa district has been working as a MGNREGA worker for more than five years. Care has finally come her way — from good Samaritans. NGO Nirvair Khalsa Aid of Yamunagar came forward to repair her house — the repair is still going on. Another NGO, Sarbat Da Bhala Trust, has started giving her a pension of Rs 5,000 per month from August onwards. Not only this, Rs 1.35 lakh has been donated in her bank account.
A video, which went viral on social media, has brought this dramatic change in the life of this mother of eight.
“After her son was killed, monetary benefits were given to the family. Rs 11 lakh was given to parents and the rest to his wife, who is getting pension now,” said Maninder Singh Randhawa, Sainik Welfare Board officer, Mansa. When Nirmal was killed, Kargil war was going on. The village remembers him as a Kargil martyr — this is mentioned on his statue installed at the village.
However, over the years, Nirmal’s widow remarried, Jageer’s husband Varyam Singh died in 2002. He had even finished that grant of Rs 11 lakh given by the Army. “Since then, Jageer has been on her own. She gets widow pension and for the past few years, she had been working under MGNREGA. Panchayat also provides her ration on a regular basis,” said Manjit Singh Kusla, the village sarpanch.
Kusla said, “It is really bad that a Armyman’s mother had to work as a labourer. However, Nirmal was not the only son of Jageer. She had eight children in all. Nirmal was killed fighting for the country while another son was killed in an accident. Now her four sons and two daughters are alive. However, she lives on her own. Four other sons live at the village only.”
One of her sons, Hardev Singh, lives on the same premises where Jageer’s house is located. “Recently, her video went viral in which she was upset over financial crisis and even said I have no money and hence I work as a NREGA worker,” the sarpanch said.
However, now Jageer lives in the pucca house of Hardev Singh along with her grandchildren as her portion of the house is being renovated. “After the video went viral, her children might have felt embarrassed. Otherwise, earlier the woman was living alone in the damaged house,” the sarpanch said.
School named after her son
On August 6, the Government Senior Secondary School of Kusla village was named after Shaheed Naik Nirmal Singh. In addition, financial help of Rs 51,000 was provided by Bikram Moffar, chairman, Mansa Zila Parishad, to the old woman.
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