Sheikh Abdul Kareem, former army personnel who fought during the Indo-China war, now drives an autorickshaw in Hyderabad at 71. He was removed from the army during the reign of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and since then has been leading a very difficult life.
Kareen, who was the recipient of a Star Medal, a special award for his contribution to the India-China war, has appealed to the state government for help.
Speaking to ANI, Kareem said, "I was recruited into the Indian army after the death of my father who worked for the British Army and then for the Indian Army. In 1964, I entered the Indian army."
"I participated in the India-China war and was posted in Lahaul area. I was awarded Star Medal and was the special award recipient in 1971," he said.
However, when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister, there were surplus army personnel, many of whom, including Kareem, were removed from postings. While serving, he had applied for government land and was given five acres at Gollapalli village in what is now Telangana.
After 20 years, the land was distributed among seven village persons and even after several complaints about the same, the original land has been denied to be him. He said it has been more than a year, but the paperwork of his land is yet to be completed, and he doesn’t even own a home now.
After serving the nation for nine years, Kareem now finds himself helpless, unable to take care of the basic needs of his family. He drives an auto-rickshaw to have some earning.
"Despite winning a good service medal, I have not even received any sort of pension or any financial support from the government. I also request the central government to financially support ex-servicemen who are in need of help," he said.(With Inputs from ANI)