BHOPAL: The father of Poonam Shroti, a woman achiever felicitated by the President, is seeking justice for his daughter who first slipped into depression and then landed in hospital after her application for LPG distributorship was rejected.
Poonam Shroti had approached Indian Oil Corp (IOC) with an application for setting up a LPG distribution agency in Madhya Pradesh's Tikamgarh district.
However, her application was rejected after she refused to bribe IOC officials, claimed her father Rajendra Prasad Shroti.
IOC officials, however, denied the bribe charge and said her application was rejected due to wrong address furnished by her.
Poonam Shroti sought distributorship in Tikamgarh district while she is actually a resident of Bhopal, they said.
The 32-year-old was selected for IOC distributorship through a draw of lottery, Rajendra Shroti said and alleged company officials also made fun of her short height when she went to meet them regarding her pending application.
"Aggrieved by the rejection of her application and laughed at for being dwarf, Poonam first went into depression, then suffered a brain hemorrhage and slipped into coma.
"She is battling for life at Bansal Hospital in Bhopal," said Rajendra Shroti, an ex-armyman.
Hospital authorities said Poonam Shroti, who was admitted to the hospital on February 6, is occasionally kept on ventilator and is recovering now.
Poonam Shroti, who has rare brittle bone disease since childhood, is just a little over two feet in height.
Rajendra Shroti wrote letters to the Prime Minister's Office, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the MP Women's Commission and the MP Disabled Persons Commission, seeking justice for his daughter.
In a complaint to the Commissioner of Disabilities, MP Rajendra Shroti said on January 23 when his daughter went to meet senior IOC officials in Bhopal, they made fun of her disability.
A day earlier, IOC Madhya Pradesh General Manager (LPG) Vijay Kumar had even refused to meet her, he claimed.
"Besides, IOC officials demanded a Rs 2 lakh bribe from her, but she refused to grease their palms," said Rajendra Shroti, a former office-bearer of the BJP's cell for retired defence forces personnel.
When contacted, Kumar denied the allegations made by the woman.
"Whatever allegations Poonam had levelled against me and other (IOC) officials are totally wrong and baseless," he told PTI.
"Poonam had applied for LPG distributorship at village Astoun in Tikamgarh district on August 29, 2017 under open category in response to an advertisement.
In the ad, there is a condition that applicants should be residents of the village panchayat mentioned by them," Kumar said.
"But in her application and affidavit she has stated that she is a resident of Bhopal.
Her Aaadhar card also has her Bhopal address.
Therefore, her application for LPG distributorship was rejected in late January," Kumar said.
But, her father claimed she lives in Astoun and comes occasionally to Bhopal to spend time with family members.
Poonam Shroti was named among 100 women achievers by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development under the category of Disability and Disadvantage.
On January 22, 2016, she was felicitated by then President Pranab Mukherjee for social work.
An MBA in finance, Poonam Shroti is also a motivational speaker and works for physically challenged persons through her NGO Uddip Foundation.