| Raj Deo Prasad Singh with chief minister Nitish Kumar at the janata durbar in Patna on Monday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Former armyman Raj Deo Prasad Singh was in for a surprise on Monday at the chief minister’s janata durbar.
Singh came to Nitish Kumar’s janata durbar for the first time, with his daughter Kumari Surya. With a hope for realising the compensation promised by Nitish’s predecessor, Rabri Devi, the former armyman waited in the row for the physically challenged.
Nitish’s reaction, however, left the 47-year-old with a lot to be desired. He claimed Nitish took the application from his hand and handed it over to secretary, social welfare, Rajit Punhani, after a few seconds.
“What kind of janata durbar is it where people are not even given a minute to speak about their problem? He (Nitish) just looked at the application and within five seconds, handed it over to his official. It is my first visit to his janata durbar and without listening to my grievances, he just moved ahead,” said Singh.
Singh, at present a Special Auxiliary Police jawan, had lost his mother and daughter in a terrorist attack 11 years ago. His other daughter, Kumari Surya, who was hit by 13 bullets but survived, accompanied him on Monday.
Rabri Devi promised the family Rs 2 lakh as ex gratia but they are yet to receive it.
The former armyman added: “I came here with a lot of hope and expectation. I am under great financial constraints and thought I would get some help here. I was under this impression that problems are solved at the chief minister’s janata durbar, but here people do not even have time to listen to them. I can understand that the Rabri Devi government is not there anymore. But, only party changes here, not the government.”
In the 2002 attack, all the bones in Kumari Surya’s left hand and lower jaw were broken and her stomach and ribs were in bad shape. Now, her jaw is still deformed and the family needs money for specialised treatment.
Kumari Surya, a Class IX student of Saint Palu School, Lalganj, said: “All the time my father is tensed and thinks about me. Several times I have heard him talking to my mother about how he would arrange money for my treatment. It has been more than a decade but he is still in search of the compensation announced by Rabri Devi.”
When Singh asked Punhani about the compensation, he said: “First, we will give your daughter handicap pension and second, a scholarship.”
Singh replied: “Sir, I have not come here for the handicapped pension or the scholarship. Why don’t you look at my application for the compensation announced by former chief minister Rabri Devi? Other states gave me the compensation but the Bihar government to which I belong have not done so yet.”
On Punhani’s insistence that everything would be done in time, a frustrated Singh left the durbar.