- I went through the pathetic story of Ms Anjana Bhatt daughter and Mr Arun Bhatt, son of Maj Bipin Chandra Bhatt (Rtd) of Kumaon Regt who on retirement from Army joined in the Secretariat’s protocol department as Under Secretary. Ms Anjana was found begging on the streets of Lucknow. I understand it is the UP Government Secretariat, Lucknow in which the officer was employed at the time of his untimely death along with his wife in a car accident. Since the officer retired, Army might have lost contact with him. It is the responsibility of the officer who should have kept his whereabouts informed to his Kumaon Officers’ Association so that in case of some mishap like it happened to him (both officer and his wife died in a car accident) at least someone will look after their children. Bonds of camaraderie are very strong in Army. If Ms Anjana, the second child of the officer approached any of the Kumaon Regt Officers in time, I am sure all Kumaon Regt officers would have come to rescue of this girl and her brother. Kumaon Regt Centre at Ranikhet is not very far from Lucknow. She could have made some request to Comdt KRC, Ranikhet to help her. If one goes into shell as Ms Anjana now explains what can anyone do? God also helps only those who help themselves. This is repeat of Capt Vijendra Singh Gurung who also went into shell for almost 46 years till TSEWA came to his rescue.
- What do you expect Army to do in such cases when Officers themselves do not give their contact nos? Army is too busy with the serving personnel and every day operations tasks. Has it got time for Ex-Servicemen and family pensioners? Therefore the role of ESM Associations come into play. Every Regt must have ESM Association of all ranks to look after their own personnel and their wards. Bombay Sappers have one at Kirkee, Pune and it looks after retired personnel of all ranks of Bombay Sappers with many welfare schemes.
- The story tells us that in Civil no one looks after the other. If an Under Secretary from Protocol Dept dies with his wife in a vehicle accident, none from that Dept looked after the children.
- I am intrigued with the story narrated by the second daughter Ms Anjana (first one unfortunately died immediately after death of their parents) not that I disbelieved it altogether. Some simple questions crop up in my mind. The photos do tell us something about the two children Anjana and her brother Arun Bhatt. If Anjana was 22 years old at the time of death of her parents and was studying MA, could she not have approached HQ Central Command for some help instead of begging on the streets? Does not the credit balance in the bank account of her deceased father go automatically to the children with help of some retired Kumaon personnel to take her case with bank officials? Every State Govt has some funds for personnel who die in harness. I am sure pension from State Govt also would have been sanctioned. But one has to go through the procedure to get these benefits sanctioned. Cannot the girl go to her father’s office (Protocol Dept of UP Govt I presume) and get some help. Cannot she complete her studies and get some job? Cannot she go to some Kumaon officer in Lucknow for help? Do I understand the deceased officer and his wife did not have any brothers or sisters to help the three children? I am sure the retired officer would not have left his children in total penury. I am sure he must have got a house constructed.
- We in TSEWA keep getting reports of such pathetic incidents from time to time. TSEWA did help Capt Vijendra Singh Gurung, a 1971 war veteran who unfortunately became a Prisoner of War in Pakistan (on 05 Dec 1971 in Fazilka Sector of Punjab). We have very limited funds for charity. The two children left behind by (late) Maj Bipin Chandra Bhatt deserve our sympathy. At least Lucknow Sub Area helped the girl by employing her in CSD canteen. There is no compassionate appointment for children of deceased personnel in the Armed Forces. Therefore if TSEWA has to carry out such charitable activities for all such deserving cases, we need funds. If veterans are willing to donate even small amounts to TSEWA then we can undertake such charitable activities to cover more such cases. TSEWA disbursed Rs 7.50 lakhs on charitable activities for the financial year 2017 – 18 to children of Ex-Servicemen and even Civilians. This was made possible due to generous donations received from members of TSEWA mostly officers. We have also collected about Rs 6 lakhs for Capt Vijendra Singh Gurung which will be transferred to Brig Rajendra Singh Rawat, President, TSEWA, Uttarakhand to be put in fixed deposit for monthly sustenance of Capt VS Gurung. If you are keen to help out such unfortunate children of Armed Forces Personnel, please send your contributions small or big to TSEWA at the following:-
(a) Account No: 37123663228
(b) Name of Account: TSEWA –Corpus
(c) Name of Bank: SBI, Bhaskar Rao Nagar, Sainikpuri (PO), Secunderabad – 500094, IFSC: SBIN 0015568.
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)