Carried by great-grandson, 88-yr-old widow of Gorkha soldier reaches India to withdraw pension

At 88 years, Anita Devi is quite frail and does not have the strength to walk long distances, but she made the trip from her remote village in Darchula district of Nepal to Dharchula on the Indian side as soon as the border between the two countries
Pithoragarh: At 88 years, Anita Devi is quite frail and does not have the strength to walk long distances, but she made the trip from her remote village in Darchula district of Nepal to Dharchula on the Indian side as soon as the border between the two countries was opened on Wednesday. The border was opened for a short duration of three days to enable Nepalese pensioners of the Indian Army to come to banks on the Indian side and withdraw their pension. Devi’s late husband Beer Singh Khati had served in the Gorkha regiment of the Indian Army, and as the rules mandate that the pension amount can be given only to the pensioner or his widow, Devi had to make the trip, carried for most part by her great-grandson, Bhupendra Singh. Her great-granddaughters — 17-year-old Janki and 20-year-old Saraswati — also accompanied her. “We are natives of Darchula’s Huti village. Our village is 24 kilometres away from the town. We hired a jeep to reach Darchula but from there, we had to come to India on foot. So, I carried my great-grandmother on my back,” Bhupendra told TOI. He added that they were able to withdraw Rs 42,600 — the pension amount of three months — from the bank.

“My great-grandfather was recruited in the Gorkha regiment in March,1948. He retired in August, 1969 and died in June, 1995. Since then, my great-grandmother had been coming to India to withdraw the pension amount. Lately, her health has deteriorated. As she is not fit enough to walk, I carried her across the border,” added Singh.

It is worth mentioning that Nepalese nationals cannot get the pension amount transferred to some other bank without taking permission from the Indian embassy.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the last day of opening of the border for pensioners, 250 ex-soldiers (or their windows) withdrew a cumulative amount of Rs 1.50 crore from the State Bank of India (SBI) branch in Jhulaghat, 84 pensioners withdrew Rs 15 lakh in Jauljibi, while 37 pensioners withdrew Rs 11 lakh in Dharchula. SBI officials told TOI that in the three days allotted for border movement — from Wednesday to Friday — 768 pensioners withdrew a total pension amount of Rs 3.10 crore.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
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At 88 years, Anita Devi is quite frail and does not have the strength to walk long distances, but she made the trip from her remote village in Darchul

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