Red Chillies

A Postman’s Pension

Short Story by: Stan Ageira, Mulki  

July 17, 2016

05-01-2009

Director,
Head Office,
Post and Telegraph Department

Respected Sir,

Subject: With reference to my Pension and Gratuity

My name is Paul and I had the privilege of working with Post and Telegraph department as Postman for forty years. The department was like second family to me. My retirement came in August 2008 after my last posting in Cat Hill. Presently I live in Cat Hill with my family. Unfortunately, I am still waiting for gratuity and pension. My two sons are daily wage labourers and my wife is chronic asthma patient. I am facing a financial crunch. The pension application that I sent had through local bank remains unapproved.

I would appreciate if immediate action is taken by approving my gratuity and pension. I would be truly grateful. Please find attached herewith copy of application with documents related to my service in Post and Telegraph department.

Yours sincerely,

Paul
Retired Postman
Cat Hill

….. ….. …..


20-04-2009

Paul,
Cat Hill

Dear Sir,

Subject: With reference to your Pension and Gratuity

We are in receipt of your application and related documents. We regret the delay and inconvenience. Your case is under process with the inquiry committee. As per our records, Paul the postal worker’s retirement date was 1 Jan 2008. However, you claim that you had worked until August 2008. As you had worked 8 months more than the regulated date, your account remained open in our system. We could not close it.

We shall inform you once investigation report is in hand. Please bear with us.

Geoffrey,
Director,
Head Office,
Post and Telegraph Department

….. ….. …..


15-05-2009

Director,
Head Office,
Post and Telegraph Department

Respected Sir,

Subject: With reference to my Pension and Gratuity

I received your letter dated 20 April 2009. It is true. I had worked eight months in excess without knowing the due date of retirement. The department took eight months to inform me. I was unaware and continued working until August 2008. I would like to extend an apology.

My wife is ill and we have no other source of income. The financial conditions are sinking. Please have mercy on me. I plead for immediate approval of my pension and gratuity without any further delay.

Yours sincerely,

Paul
Retired Postman
Cat Hill

….. ….. …..


15-03-2010

Paul,
Cat Hill

Dear Sir,

Subject: With reference to your Pension and Gratuity

Keeping you posted, we have received your repeated reminders. Internal enquiry with reference to your pension and gratuity is under process. The identity of Paul the Postman is under question. One Paul ought to have retired on 1 January 2008 and the other Paul retired in August 2008. Is he one person? Are they two different people? If he is one person, why did Paul take the liberty of working until August 2008? Something has gone wrong somewhere. Some other tricky decisions are also to be taken. If Paul of both cases is one person, should we pay pension with effect from Jan 2008 or from Sept 2008?

We are waiting for investigation report.

Geoffrey,
Director,
Head Office,
Post and Telegraph Department

….. ….. …..


20-06-2011

Director,
Head Office,
Post and Telegraph Department

Respected Sir,

Subject: With reference to my Pension and Gratuity

Respected Sir,

My family and I are living only on hope. It is seemingly an unending wait. Living in Cat Hill, a small village that remains cut off most times due to heavy landslides. Life has become tiresome. Mobile connectivity is worst. I have to go all the way to city post office to plea my case. Running from pillar to post for last three years, I have appealed my case to all senior officials. This is truly unfortunate. I have given all possible documents to justify I am the same Paul. Paul the Postman who was supposed to have retired in Jan 2008 and the one who actually retired in Aug 2008 are not two different people.

During my forty years of service with Post and Telegraph department, I worked with complete honesty, integrity and dedication. Sorry to say, I have been deprived of my post-retirement benefits. I worked for extra eight months, unaware of the actual date of retirement. That does not make me ineligible to receive gratuity and pension.

My wife is sick. Income of my sons is not good enough to support us. Debt ridden, we are struggling to make two ends meet. Suicide is the only option left for me.

Yours sincerely,

Paul
Retired Postman
Cat Hill

….. ….. …..


23-10-2014

Paul,
Cat Hill

Dear Sir,

Subject: With reference to your Pension and Gratuity

We are pleased to confirm the good news. The inquiry is concluded and the report is on the table. Investigation report endorses that Paul the Postman who ought to have retired in Jan 2008 and in reality retired in Aug 2008 is one person and not two different people. Your gratuity will be remitted to your bank account within one week.

The approval letter for your pension is attached herewith. You can approach the local bank to complete the formalities. You will be paid the arrears as well with effect from Sept 2008. We regret the delay and wish you the best in this next phase of life.

Geoffrey,
Director,
Head Office,
Post and Telegraph Department

….. ….. …..


10-11-2014

Director,
Head Office,
Post and Telegraph Department

Respected Sir,

Subject: With reference to my husband’s Pension and Gratuity

My name is Catherine. I am retired Postman Paul’s wife. Sorry to say, my husband left to next phase by committing suicide on 23 Oct 2014. Driven by poverty and wretchedness he hanged himself on a banyan tree. Deprived of post-retirement benefits, he ended his life in unfortunate circumstances. He was completely devastated. Your approval to release his gratuity and pension came very late. We are very distraught over this incident.

I approached the bank to process the pension payable to widow. Bank manager said an error in document to be rectified. Sophia’s name is mentioned as his wife. Sophia was his first wife. They were childless in their 10 years of wedded life. Paul had married me after Sophia’s death.

I request you to rectify the error in documents. Please insert my name as Paul’s legally wedded wife. Looking forward to your kind confirmation.

Catherine
Retired Postman’s wife
Cat Hill

….. ….. …..


07-01-2015

Catherine
Cat Hill

Dear Madam,

Subject: With reference to Paul’s Pension and Gratuity

We are in receipt of your letter dated 10 Oct 2014. We are very sorry for the tragic loss. You have our deepest sympathy. We will have to delete Sophia’s name in our records and enter you name as Paul’s wife. We may need some notarized supporting documents to fix the error.

Kindly ensure to submit death certificate of Sophia, your marriage certificate and death certificate of the Late Paul. The papers could be submitted through authorized local bank. You should receive your rightful pension very soon. Procedural delays are inevitable. Until such time, please bear with us.

Geoffrey,
Director,
Head Office,
Post and Telegraph Department


Comment on this article

  • Abdul S, Udupi

    Sat, Nov 5 2016

    This is Quite unique in style, very nice

    Agree [2]

  • Alex, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Sadly this is the real life story of ordinary persons in India.
    It is also similar with LIC payments, on maturity of policy or death benefits.

    Agree [1]

  • Clinton Alvares, Saudi Arabia, Mangalore, Kudla

    Wed, Jul 20 2016

    Oh good lord!

    my heart sank with each letter that i read. I coudlnt help but put myslef in Paul's shoes and feel what he went through. With each letter he wrote, the reply came months and in his last letter it took 3 year and 4 months.
    A poor man's right to his pension was delayed so much it cost him his life.

    And this hasn't ended just there. Catherine, Paul's wife now has to bear this burden living her life in distress.

    This is really sad to read. Beautifully written by Stan.

    Best wishes,

    Clinton

    Agree [6]

  • Kusuma Kumari G Nellore, Kodyaka

    Tue, Jul 19 2016

    Is it a story or a real life incident sir? Please explain

    Agree [5]

  • shuba, mumbai

    Tue, Jul 19 2016

    Disgusting to see the chain of letters was it not their duty to handover the gratuity and pension procedure letters on the day the Postman retired. In fact for his honest duty done he should have been honored, May God bless his family and eternal peace to Paul

    Agree [5]

  • Antony D'Cunha, Permude/Muscat

    Mon, Jul 18 2016

    Sequence of letters portray the real picture of common man's fate and its consequences on the society.

    Agree [15]

  • Shakuna, Mangaluru

    Mon, Jul 18 2016

    really good story written in different style.

    Agree [15]

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