First Lady interacts with delegation of prominent KP women

First Lady Dr Smita Murmu interacting with KP women delegation on Saturday.
First Lady Dr Smita Murmu interacting with KP women delegation on Saturday.

*Financial assistance released to widows
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, May 23: Dr. Smita Murmu, First Lady of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir today interacted with the delegation of prominent Kashmiri Pandit women here at Raj Bhavan.
The delegation comprising of Prof. Meenakshi Kilam, Professor JU; Prof. Veena Pandita, Chairperson JKBOSE /Educationist; Dr Usha Kher, Dy.SP; Monika Kohli Ganju, Advocate J&K High Court, Standing Council, CBI; Usha Nakashi, Trustee, HGGT; Dr Khema Kaul, Accredited Hindi poetess, Writer; Dr Samita Bhat, Gyno-Oncologist; Dr. Neeru Kharu, Dental Surgeon/Social worker; Khushboo Mattoo, Head Radio Mirchi; Shashi Raina Bharti, Government Teacher; Punika Pandita, Young KAS Officer and Apurva Pandita, during their interaction with the First Lady expressed their gratitude towards Government of India and the UT Administration for the introduction of new Domicile Law in J&K. The members of the delegation termed the new Domicile Law of Jammu and Kashmir as historic.
During the interaction, the group thanked the UT administration and the Central Government for doing away with the rigid PRC law which perpetuated alienation of women who got married to a non-resident of Jammu & Kashmir. One of the emotionally charged members even equated this gender bias to a forced second migration from Jammu by the authorities at the helm of affairs at that time.
They said that after Kashmiri Pandit migration in the early 1990s, it was another blow to their dignity as they were denied property, education and other similar rights in absence of a valid PRC.
The delegation discussed a host of issues with the First Lady and shared their emotional stories about the turbulent period faced by their community during the migration and the struggle they have endured to sustain their families and making their careers. They termed the opportunity as one of giving voice to the voiceless and exuded confidence that their concerns and issues would be taken care of with utmost importance.
The First Lady gave the members a patient hearing and said that the era of disparity & denial has ended with the abrogation of Article 370 and a new dawn of equality, opportunity and development for all has been ushered in J&K.
Meanwhile, Dr. Smita Murmu released financial assistance to Non-pensioner widows, which has been sponsored by some NGOs and concerned citizens.
A cheque of Rs 1 lakh was released by the First Lady, as financial aid for two months, for 50 Non-pensioners widows.
To help widows of Non-pensioners Ex-servicemen, President of Home for Aged and Infirm, ID Soni, had purposed a help of Rs 1000/- per month for 50 Non-pensioners’ widows.
In addition, as one-time financial help to Non pensioners widows with little or no social support, Vijay Bhagotra donated a sum of Rs 1.76 lakh from his personnel saving, to provide financial help of Rs 11,000 each to 16 beneficiary widows.
Dr. Smita Murmu observed that such notable contributions coming from NGOs and individuals will set a fine example for our citizens to identify and help the needy, with a sense of pride. She also appreciated the ESMs for their selfless service during the COVID-19 pandemic, by reaching out to the needy and volunteering for any services, as required by the administration.
Director, Rajya Sainik Board, Brig. Harcharan Singh, VSM; Sh. Giat Nandan Jain, Life Member of Home for Aged and Smt. Ram Pyari, Non-Pensioner Widow were also present on the occasion.