Mohini Devi is 102 years old. She is the widow of freedom fighter Man Singh, and a resident of Patiligaon village in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district.
She first became entitled to a pension in 1981 under Swatantrata Sainik Samman pension. For 30 years she received it, but then the pension was stopped in 2011 due to non-submission of her life certificate. As per rules, if a pensioner does not submit the life certificate, or proof that he is living, to the concerned bank by November 30 or even till next October 31, his pension is deemed to be cancelled.
For about 5 years she didn’t receive her pension. She first wrote to the home ministry on February 25, 2016, highlighting her distress and asking for her pension to be restored. But action from the government’s end came recently when a tweet was posted on her behalf regarding the issue. Along with a request to restore her pension was attached a published news item recording her plight. Home ministry’s official handle was tagged, which is how the issue came to the government’s notice. The government intervened to ensure relief for Mohini Devi.
As per revised policy guidelines on freedom fighters pension, the ministry issued an order on August 30 restoring Mohini Devi’s family pension. The best thing is that the pension was ordered to be restored from February 25, 2016, which was the date when she’d first submitted her original application to the home ministry.
It is said that the home ministry may soon launch an online forum, Twitter Seva, to air grievances on matters related to the ministry. But even before that’s launched, the ministry has made a great start by restoring Mohini Devi’s pension. The government has on many occasions helped the common man in such matters. Prime Minister Modi has himself on many occasions taken initiative to ensure critical operations of children whose parents couldn’t afford the treatment. All that the common man in this country desires is for its plight to be heard by the ruling class. This never happened and never was expected to happen. But under Prime Minister Modi the public feels it can be heard in New Delhi which is a massive change in itself.