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New Delhi, Mar 03: An ex-Army man and star medal awardee during the 1971 India-China war is now an auto-rickshaw driver in Hyderabad.
Driving an auto for a living, he appealed to the state government for help. Sheikh Abdul Kareem is a Star Medal recipient, a special award given to him for his contribution in the Indo-China war.
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 1971 Indo-China war and was posted in Lahaul area. I was awarded with Star Medal and was the special award recipient in 1971,” he said.
Kareem said, “During the reign of Indira Gandhi, as there were surplus army personnel, many of them were removed from the postings and I was one of them. While in the army, I applied for government land and was given five acres of land in Gollapalli village in what is now Telangana.”
After nearly 20 years, the five acres land that was given to me has been distributed among seven village persons and after complaining about the same, I was offered another five acres under the same survey number but was denied the original land. Now it has been nearly about one year and till now the document of the land details are not ready,” he told ANI.
He said that after being removed from the army, he faced a lot of problems. He said that he does not even own a home and currently, at the age of 71, is driving auto-rickshaws to feed his family.
“I offered my services to this nation as an army personnel for nine years, but was removed and am now driving an auto-rickshaw at the age of 71. It has been difficult to feed my family. I do not even have my own house so that I can look after my family,” he said.
He also urged the government to provide ex-servicemen who are homeless with the double bedroom flats that are given to the poor.
“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 suport ex-servicemen who are in need of help,” he also told news agency ANI.
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