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Beware if you buy lottery tickets! It appears that the Sikkim Lottery has flat out refused to pay out a 2 lakh cash prize won by 65 year old Senior Citizen C K Pai. What is worse, it appears that there is no legal way for lottery winners to recover their lottery winnings if Sikkim Lottery (or any other) refuses to pay. This astonishing email was forwarded to me today by an activist friend, Krishnaraj Rao:

In brief: Mr C K Pai (9323556850), a 65-year-old Mumbai resident was overjoyed on 4th April lottery results for Sikkim Lottery last year when his name featured among lottery winners - he had won Rs 2 lakh in the Sikkim fast-digit lottery. However, his joy has turned to dismay and frustration, as he is still waiting for his prize money... and the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is nowhere in sight! The Mumbai representatives "Pan India Ltd; - Worli Mumbai" are not only unresponsive, but also rude and indifferent to the plight of the desperate senior citizen. And so is the Director of Sikkim State Lottery.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have to inform you that I had won a lottery prize of Sikkim fast digit lottery in draw no 40 date 4th April 2012 for rs 2, 00,000/- (Rs two lacs only). The necessary formalities of paper work were duly completed by me and submitted on 12th April 2012 to Pan India Network Pvt Ltd ; 135 Continental bldg, second floor, Dr Annie Besant road – Worli – Mumbai- 400018. The said company works for collection of prizes in Mumbai for Sikkim Govt.

Till date despite lapse of one year ( i.e. – on 12th April – 2013 ), I have not received my prize money. I am really desperate, mentally defeated as my requests by phone calls and sms to Pan India Ltd; - Worli Mumbai office have fallen on deaf ears and my efforts have been fruitless throughout one year. Even after begging for my prize with Mumbai office, I was told to approach High Court- Supreme Court for settling the issue early. I was bluntly told that even this move by me would not help and would not harm company in any way.

I have detailed all these facts in my letter dated 04.03.2013 written to the Director of Sikkim State lotteries govt of Sikkim- Balwakhani – Gangtok – 737101 and copy endorsed to Pan India Ltd - Worli – Mumbai – 400018. I am in receipt of a acknowledgement of letter from Sikkim govt.
I am senior citizen (65 yrs) and need money for my cataract operation. Your early compliance in the matter will mean immense help to me and I will remain indebted to you for the same.

I note to forward the Xerox copies of all papers in the matter at an early date.

Thanking you in anticipation


Here is Mr. Pai's grievance status on this state sanctioned fraud. Grievance regarding non-payment of winnings from Sikkim State Lottery

In May 2011, Sikkim State Lottery had been banned in Kerala and the Kerala High Court had given the nod for a CBI investigation into what appeared to be a multi-crore-rupee lottery scam in Kerala. In a major embarrassment for Congress, their spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi (he wasn't famous then) appeared in court on behalf of Megha Distributors. Ashwani Khurana was arrested for siphoning off several crores from the Sikkim State Lottery and defrauding his partners.

So obviously, it looked like there was something shady going on and the law ought to be on the side of the person conned, right? Wong.

Further checking showed me that in India, while lotteries run by the state are legal, the courts will not help recovery of "wagers" - all gambling earnings - which in essence is what a lottery is, so you have this legal construct where gambling is illegal, state lotteries are legal, but if they refuse to pay you the amount you win, the court will not help you to "claim gambling losses".

To quote briefly on the pertinent gambling related laws:

Section 30 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872: This Section prevents any person from bringing a suit for recovery of any winnings won by way of a ‘wager.’ (An agreement which is based on a future uncertain event wherein the loss of one person is the gain of the other). Thus no claim for recovery of any winnings in lotteries, gambling or betting can be brought before the court. The position of law in India is such that it may be perfectly legal to buy a lottery ticket, but the winner of such a lottery will have no remedy against the lottery agency if the said agency refuses to pay the winnings. This same position was reiterated in Subash Kumar Manwani v. State of M.P. (AIR 200 MP 109) - read judgment.

This basically means that the state can run lotteries and refuse to pay out winnings and there is nothing anyone can do about this. Between abject refusals such as these, and unclaimed lottery winnings... one has to wonder how many of lottery payouts advertized actually get paid.

Is it just me or is there something really insane about this?

Read the grievance document embedded below:


Here are some supplies needed desperately at the sites of disaster in Sikkim. I imagine the needs in Orissa will not be all that different.

The earlier post on helping Sikkim recover contains information on volunteers all over the country and world. Find one for your area (better still, become one). Send the supplies you can, to the address they provide you with. Done. But there are ways to make this easy or better:

  • A lot of the items are not too expensive. Others, you may have at home. If you have access to things cheaper than market price, give those.
  • If the place to deliver supplies is at an inconvenient distance, fikar not. Find a shop in the area from the local yellow pages, call them and ask for their bank account information (or ask the volunteer for the information). Transfer money, ask for delivery at the location where the supplies should be sent.
  • Ask people around you if you want to contribute. Collect a lot of supplies in one place, and then send them over. If it is a truckload, you might as well coordinate with them for it to be picked and sent to Sikkim directly from your area.
  • A lot of essentials like children's clothes, blankets, warm clothes, etc are spare in most homes and in fairly good condition. Collect them in your neighbourhood, get a few volunteers to perhaps sort them out by type (ideally) and send them over. I would be very surprised if any locality doesn't have people willing and able to give some such stuff.
  • Most important: If you are giving clothes, blankets and such material, please don't give old, torn or otherwise unusable stuff. For one, it is insulting to someone in need to give what has been used to the point of trash and "donated" instead of discarded. For another, there is considerable time, money and effort people are volunteering so that essentials from all over the country reach those in need. If something won't be used, it wastes that much effort and takes the space of something that would be useful.


Here is the list of supplies needed, but use your common sense. If there are other things you know are basic needs and you can provide, improvise.

  • Waterproof Tarpaulins {Available at hardware stores & also a list of manufacturers in India are linked here: http://www.indianyellowpages.com/india/manufacturers/t/tarpaulins.htm}
  • Dry Food - Items such as Instant Noodles, dry fruits, canned meat, lentils, pulses, rice, biscuits, powdered milk, vegetables - potatoes, onion, corn, garlic and other items that people in this area are already used to eating / drinking (please add on) {Available at General / Provisional / Departmental Stores all over}
  • Infant Food - Milk powder (Nan 1, 2, 3 / Lactogen 1/2/3), Cerelac, Diapers {Available at General / Provisional / Departmental Stores & Chemists all over}
  • Clean Water - Water purifiers / Mineral water (perhaps if bisleri / tata/ some of the bigger or local ones can be contacted around Sikkim  since otherwise logisitics would be a problem)
  • Lighting - Emergency battery operated LED lights, torches are available in the market. Batteries to operate these should also be considered. {This is available at hardware stores, light stores}
  • Basic Medicines - Fever & Pain relievers (Paracetamol - Crocin, Calpol, Saradon, Disprin, Combiflam); Allergy Relievers (Allegra, Sinarest); Nausea & Altitude (Avomin); Diarrhea (Loperamide, Immodium) Asthma (Common Inhalers - Bricanyl, Asthalin, Aerocot) General (Dettol, Savalon, Band Aids, Crepe Wrap, Gauze / Bandage, Betadine Ointment, Neosprin Powder/ ointment, Cotton)
  • Personal Care: Soap, Toothpaste, Water Mugs, Gumboots, Woolen Socks
  • Blankets and warm clothes (You know you have a collection, many of which are perfectly good, and you don't use.)


Besides this, there is a requirement to set up Medical Tents , Food Tents where food is also prepared, Warehousing Tents / proper shelters to stock materials brought in for relief work,Communication Camps for those who haven't get in touch with their loved ones, could also stock some recharge vouchers for telephone operator networks.

Here is how you can help without leaving your desk. Figure out the supplies you wish to provide. Contact manufacturers or distributers, place a bulk


The earthquake in Sikkim on the 18th September 2011 has created massive devastation. North Sikkim has been destroyed on a massive scale. This is a time to use your vacation time and money to go to Sikkim with help in your heart.


The destruction has dwarfed the constant pouring of money and effort into rescue and rehabilitation and many people are still to receive assistance.

With thousands of homes obliterated, and winter around the corner, the goal of rehabilitation is challenging and overwhelmingly large.

Last night, yet another smaller earthquake rocked the region.

In the midst of all this, rescue workers are fighting to save lives.

Many Indians are generously asking for where they can donate, but there is more that can be done. It isn't just about money, it is about getting work done. Consider trying to see what all you can do, rather than think of how much money you can give alone.

Presenting here the needs, the organizations on the ground that can be supported with money, supplies and labour.

Donations for Sikkim

Principal Resident Commissioner, Office nos. 26115013/ 26113747/26883026.

Principal Resident Commissioner, Sikkim House, Delhi; contact: 9968846087.

Office of Resident Commissioner Delhi may also be approached for delivery of relief items.


Sikkim govt contact nos. 03592-201664 (O), 03592-202932 (F).

Relief items may be dispatched to BK Kharel, Secy, Land revenue-cum-relief commissioner.

State Bank of Sikkim, Gangtok, CM's Relief Fund A/C 464, main branch.


For donations from outside Sikkim: IFSC-Central bank of India No. 282310 main branch.

Donate to USFC & Sikkim Express relief fund at Bank of Baroda (a/c no 24950100005733).



To donate in rupees

Sewa International
49, Deendayal Upadhyaya Marg,
New Delhi -110002, India
Tel: +91 11 23232850 or 23684445
Email: sewainternationaldelhi {at] gmail (dot) com


International donations:
Sewa USA Online donations Click here
IDRF Online donations Click here
Sewa UK, Online donations Click here

Payable to “Sewa International” and send detail to:
Sewa International USA
PO Box 14622
Fremont, CA 94539


Rotary Club of Gangtok South/E D Fund - Donations of money
Raman Shresta - 973310230 (Sikkim)

Bank - Indian Overseas Bank
Branch - Gangtok , Kazi Road
Ac NO - 547
IFSC Code - IOBA0001624
MICR Code - 737020001


The Sikkim Chamber of Commerce - Cash or Kind

Karma Bhutia at +919434094359 or Ashok Sarda at +919733015188


The Bar Association of Sikkim - 18th September Earthquake Relief Fund - Cash or Kind

Bhaskar Raj Pradhan, General Secretary 9933355335.


Sikkim Earthquake Relief - Switzerland - Cash

Account No: 45-82171-8
IBAN: CH0509000000450821718
Swiss Post – PostFinance
Nordring 8
CH-3030 Bern


Vibrant Foundations - Mumbai and Gangtok(Sikkim), NJP and Siliguri - arrange to send cash, relief materials etc to the crisis ridden locations.




United Sikkim Football Club and Sikkim Express Relief Fund

Account number is - 24950100005733

Bank of Baroda.





Raman Shresta - 9733102304
Pema Leyda Shangderpa - 9800081110
Pema Tsewang Topgyal Serdup
Manish Raj Shrestha -
Naresh Raj Shrestha - 9434169663
Pema Wangchuk Dorjee - 9832080753
Bjorn De Niese - 9232855009
Rimp Dorjee - 9733005567
Karchoong - 9800871277
Bhanu Pratap Rasaily - 9733012222
Varsha Shrestha - 9593782847
Jashoda Chettri - 9434384636
Anna Linkit Foning - 7872888083
Mita Zulca - 9593971250
Sarikah Atreya - 9733259520
Mita Zulca - 9593971250


Vineeta Rao - 9820409208
Amit Mundra - 9820724205/8976099921


Neeraj Verma - 9845402227 (not available from 10:00 AM to 6:00PM)
Rosina Poudyal - 9739096047


Aekta Chander - 9811471732


Shaliya Khan - 9890171116


Dipesh Pradhan - 8179469023


Nandita Oberoi Sharma - 9011056602


Ashila Wangdi - 0044 7506734889
Karma Wangdi - 0044 7947960712

Dubai (UAE)

Niraj Gurung +971551874483 and +971508821432


Tshering Bhutia - +65 90794152.


Naresh Agarwal - +1 617 553 4461 (Boston Area)
Sonam Ongmu - +1 415 990 6180/solasopa@phhp.ufl.edu (Gainesville, Florida)


Yishey Choden- +1 416 834 5687 yishey@gmail.com


Jenny Bentley -