After a 20-year legal battle, a 75-year-old retired class IV railway employee finally received his pension and other retirement benefits.
In a recent order, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) cleared the retirement benefits of Bhaskar Gangurde, a resident of Nashik, was allegedly made to retire from his job as a manual labourer in the Indian Railway in 1989.
"I have two sons but they are married and have their own families to take care of. I couldn't depend on them anymore. I had no savings. The last few years were terrible," Gangurde said, following the court order.
Gangurde's lawyer, Prakash Wagh, told the Hindustan Times that the railway worker was forced to retire after he repeatedly missed work in 1988 due to bad health.
"He was told to retire after he took a long leave. However, when he went back for his pension, his seniors in Nashik claimed that they had not received any intimation about his retirement," said Wagh.
Gangurde's protracted battle began after authorities told him that they had misplaced his service records, due to which his pension was not being cleared, Wagh said.
"They told me that they had no records of the 15 years I put into their service. I was appalled," said Gangurde.
Gangurde said he took his complaint to the divisional railway manager, who had been looking into the matter.
"They were unresponsive towards him. They could've cleared his file, but they kept stalling the process," alleged Wagh However, two years ago, Gangurde approached the Mumbai CAT, after he was told that he could lodge his complaint before the tribunal, authorised to intervene in such matters.
For Gangurde, this has been a long and stressful process and he is glad it has finally been resolved . "I am tired now. I want to settle down and enjoy whatever is left of my life. With a small, yet steady pension, I am sure I will be as self sufficient," he said.