A former Indian Army soldier who had won the ‘Star Medal’ for participating in the India- Pakistan war in 1971, is now driving an autorickshaw to feed his family. Sheikh Abdul Kareem, has won the Star Medal for his contribution to the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war is forced to live as a autorickshaw driver at the age of 71 for earning livelihood.
For the last six year he is driving the autorickshaw for satisfy the needs of his family. The war veteran. who is a father of six children did not have a house of his own. He has worked as a supervisor in a private company in Kuwait and has to leave the country after the Iraq’s invasion.
“I was recruited into the Indian army after the death of my father who worked for the British Army and then for the Indian army. In 1964, I entered the Indian army. I participated in the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war and was posted in Lahaul area. I was awarded Star Medal and was the special award recipient in 1971,” said Sheikh Abdul Kareem.
“During the reign of Indira Gandhi, as there were surplus army personnel, many of them were removed from the postings and I was one of them. While in the army, I applied for government land and was given five acres of land in Gollapalli village in what is now Telangana. After nearly 20 years, the five acres land that was given to me has been distributed among seven village persons and after complaining about the same, I was offered another five acres under the same survey number but was denied the original land. Now it has been nearly about one year and till now the document of the land details are not ready”, he said.