This is a shocker. A story, may be, that will evoke a second thought in all those aspiring to be a pilot with the Indian Air Force.
Just days after Tarmak007 launched the ‘Justice for Jetly’ campaign, the late Wg Cdr Vikas Jetly’s (Jets) family members now confirm that his wife (Shalini) has been running from pillar to post, for claiming her husband’s post-retirement benefits for the last one year. Jets was invalidated (retired) from the rolls of IAF on the afternoon of January 6, 2010. (He had severe head injuries after his Dhruv chopper crashed on February 2, 2007. He remained in coma till he breathed his last on January 11, 2011.)
Jets’ family members tell Tarmak007 that so far, barring his provident fund (PF) -- which the IAF has no say in -- and a portion of his insurance dues, none of his other end-of-Service benefits have been delivered. Remember: All this after one year of his retirement from IAF! There is no intimation yet on his pension, gratuity, leave encashment and part of insurance payments. Also Jets’ December 2009 salary and 5 days of January payments too never came through.
Family sources say that Shalini was running the show with the arrears she got after the 6th Pay Commission scales were implemented and with the PF money. Jets is survived by his wife, 2 children and aged parents -- Om Prakash Jetly (75) and mother Prem Jetly (65).
It is disturbing to know that the IAF even refused to entertain Shalini’s repeated pleas for a teaching job at the The Air Force School (TAFS), Subroto Park in New Delhi. While one thought that the job was the only worrying point, it is really shocking to know the kind of trauma the wife of a star pilot had to go through all these while.
“This always happens if you are a helicopter pilot in the IAF. We get secondary treatment. Imagine if this was the case of a frontline fighter pilot. Things would have happened at a lightning speed. You might be surprised, but we are used to this kind of step-motherly treatment towards helicopter pilots. This has been a tradition that has been followed. It will never change. While we are all solidly behind Jets’ family, we can’t come out in the open and express our feelings. It is disgusting. After Jets’ left us and the kind of stories we hear from his family, we are all disturbed,” was the reaction of a senior IAF chopper pilot, who knew Jets, while he was operating in Leh.
Hope Shalini’s plight won’t get buried as IAF gears up for the Aero India plane carnival in Yelahanka in February? Hope the powers-that-be at the Air Headquarters will budge and end the suffering of Jets’ family?The Aero India 2011 will definitely lose its sheen if the MoD doesn't wake up and restore some lost pride due to this incident. The Sarangs will still perform, with heavy hearts, owing to the treatment meted out to their favorite Jet Sir. It will be a fitting tribute to Jets and his family, if the men in blue at Air HQ decide to solve this issue swiftly. If not, it's time for Mr A.K. Antony to step in and end this national shame. At least he owes an answer to the Nation.
Touching the skies with glory! Well…