Video Editor: Prashant Bhardwaj
In a tiny hospital room, 28-year-old CRPF jawan Jitendra Kumar has been in a coma for three years, his mother by his side.
The sole earner in the family, Jitender was critically injured in a 2014 land mine blast in Bastar, Chhattisgarh. Unlikely to recover fully, he will have to leave the CRPF and will get a pension of just Rs 16,900 a month – 10,000 rupees less than his current salary.
Jitendra is not an exception. Most of the CRPF's 3 lakh jawans risk their lives in conflict zones, in poor living conditions with inadequate medical facilities.
How Do We Repay a CRPF Jawan Who Gives His Life for Us?
The CRPF website says if a jawan dies in action, his family will be paid 56 lakh rupees. If he dies in an accident or of an illness while on duty, 46 lakh rupees would be given to his family.
In the forests of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh malaria claims more CRPF lives than the Naxals. In the case of disability while on duty, a CRPF jawan may get a maximum of 20 lakh rupees.
Seen lump sum, the money sounds like a fair amount. But over several years, not so much. Besides, after all the red tape, when and how the family gets this amount is another question altogether.
Take Jitendra – he comes from a poor family in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur. The road ahead of him is tough, his medical expenses will have to be paid. His father is a farm labourer and he has a sister due to be married.
And now, a lifelong handicap to live with.
So along with our heroes in the Army, its time to talk about our CRPF jawans as well, and give them their due.
Join The Quint, in partnership with BitGiving, to show Jitendra Kumar and his family that they are not alone. Click here to donate and #StandForCRPFJitendra.