Kerala: Septuagenarian fights 17 years for justice

72-year-old teacher runs from pillar to post to get her provident fund.

KOLLAM: A teacher with over 34 years of service is on the verge of suicide due to the non-payment of her provident fund for which she has been knocking at all doors for the last 17 years. Anandavally, 72, Anil Vihar, Anayadi, Sooranad, had retired from the RKUP school, Anayadi, as headmistress in 2000. Since then, she has been fighting for her money. Although the High Court passed an order in her favour, the education department has not granted it, it is alleged. While being eligible for nearly Rs. 30 lakh, including the interest, she got an RTI reply that she owes Rs. 1,854 to the government in the account of 'travelling allowance advance' and that it was preparing for revenue recovery.

"I have no strength to fight these bureaucrats. When I contacted the authorities recently following the court's order, they said somebody had signed and accepted the money. I also suspect the involvement of my advocate from Kottarakkara in this," she said. "Several issues crept into the process of sanctioning the sum as I was working as a 'protected teacher' during the last ten years of my tenure. Though the issues were resolved, I did not get the money. I secured a High Court order in my favour, which ordered to give me the sum along with 12 percent interest. But the DPI office refused to accept this," she told DC. Anandavally received her gratuity four months after her retirement, that too by the intervention of Kollam vigilance office. "I need a huge sum for the treatment of my bed-ridden husband. I have knocked at all doors and am currently on the verge of suicide," she said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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