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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Army soldier, freedom fighter die due to extreme poverty
A faded but spotless INA uniform was all he left behind when he died on Tuesday in a hospital, where he was admitted by local people as he could not afford his medical expenses.
The 94-year-old Ram Milan Sah, a bachelor, was a member of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army and fought against the British in Myanmar during World War II.
"The man was full of grace amids poverty. He could not get freedom fighter's pension despite several recommendations from ministers and district magistrates over the last 35 years.
This shows how much we care about our heroes," said social activist Ganga Prasad Chaudhary.
"In fact Captain Lakshmi Sahgal also took up his case for pension, but the Union government did not bother to look into it. Neither we nor other associations could help him because of a funds crunch," said Vijay Kumar Srivastava, secretary of Shaheed Smarak Town Hall Trust Committee, an organisation related to freedom fighters in Purnia.
Sah survived all these decades after Independence selling 'paan' (betel) at the Purnia court campus.
Sah fell ill around two months ago but could not afford medicine. A few local people admitted him to hospital when his condition deteriorated three days ago.
"He used to tell us that the soil of the country will take care of him. He should have got pension. He had a right to it," said Satish Kumar Singh, a Purnia resident.