A septuagenarian widow has secured family pension after half a century of battling red tape.

Seventy-seven-year-old Harapriya Devi, whose husband died in 1962 while serving as a lecturer in the English Department in Bhubaneswar’s BJB College, received the pension in September this year.

Her husband Janakinath Nanda Choudhury had taught in Odisha’s premier college from 1954 to 1962 before he drowned in the Mahanadi at Jobra in Cuttack, Haripriya recounts.

“He died at the age of 29. I was a 26-year-old then. I had two children to support. I took up the job of a teacher to bring them up. I had made the pension claim at that time itself,” said Harapriya Devi. Haripriya, who has since retired as a teacher, said the authorities would turn a deaf ear to her pleas for the pension and made her run from pillar to post.

It was only when the tenacious woman shot off letters to government officials citing the amended Orissa Pension rules that she saw results. — PTI