Wandering ex-serviceman tracked, to be given Rs 21 lakh as pension arrears

Representational image. Manorama

Kottayam: An ex-serviceman who has been wandering in Kottayam town with nobody to take care of, has arrears of Rs 21.61 lakh in pension accumulated over 16 years which he failed to collect. The Defence Pension Disbursing Office (DPDO), which confirmed him as an ex-military man, will hand over the amount today.

The DPDO officials tracked A G Saseendran (70) of Mannar Pavukkara Thamravelil Padinjattithil in Alappuzha district after a long search. Saseendran had failed to collect his pension since June 2007. He left home after being afflicted with dementia.

The law stipulates that the DPDO should identify the defence pensioners every year. DPDO officials have been searching for Saseendran for years together. Saseendran, who suffered memory loss, couldn’t recollect where his native place and home were, and wandered in Kottayam town.

Two years ago, a relief home took care of him. The relief home warden recovered from him his identity card, which proved that he is an ex-serviceman. Then he went to the DPDO with Saseendran and collected the pension. However, in the absence of orders from the higher officials, the arrears couldn’t be given. Later, Saseendran went missing from this relief centre.

Following an intense search for two years by officials in the town and elsewhere, he was spotted in another relief centre. Meanwhile, unsuccessful attempts were made to contact the family.

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