Reaching pension office costs more than royal pension

June 25th, 2008 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, June 25 (IANS) Descendants of the erstwhile Awadh rulers settled abroad do not mind spending thousands of rupees to come here just to collect their royal pension, or wasiqa in Urdu, of a few hundred rupees. They say it is a mark of their royal legacy. “All the way from Britain, the United States and other countries, the descendants come to Lucknow to collect their wasiqa,” Shikoh Azad, general secretary of the Royal Family of Awadh (RFA), told IANS.

“After all, the wasiqa, which is a mark of our royal legacy and lineage, is above money,” said Azad, who is a descendant of Nawab Mohammad Ali Shah.

Azad’s relatives settled in New Jersey in the US come here to collect their monthly wasiqa or royal pension.

The royal pension ranges from just Rs.1.06 to Rs.600 that a wasiqa holder is entitled to in lieu of the interest on the deposits and loans advanced to East India Company by the Awadh rulers, RFA members said.

Post-independence, the money of the nawabs was transferred to the Government of India, which started the wasiqa system. At present, there are about 1,200 families of the Awadh nawabs who are getting the wasiqa, they said.

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