Thanjavur: It is not that all freedom fighters will get pension. Central government has laid down certain eligibility criteria for getting it.
Eligible dependents of Martyrs can get the pension. A’martyr' is described by the government as a person who died or who was killed in action or in detention or was awarded capital punishment due to participation in the freedom struggle in India. Relevant documents from official records and newspapers of the relevant time are considered as evidences. A person who has suffered minimum imprisonment of six months or three months in case of women and SC/ST are eligible for pension.
According to Mr. K. Elangovan, advocate of Thanjavur, who has taken up the cases of spouses of freedom fighters for getting Central government pension, there can be a relaxation in the criteria of imprisonment. There need not be six or three months and even if for a day, a person has gone to prison for the cause of nation, he should be given pension and treated respectably, he said. .
Besides pension, freedom fighters and their spouses are eligible for free railway passes along with a companion to travel anywhere across the country for any number of times. They are also eligible for free medical treatment in hospitals run by public sector undertakings. They are also eligible for telephone connection, subject to feasibility without installation charges and on payment of nearly half the rental. Central government has also recognised 37 movements, mutinies and conspiracies for giving pension under the’ Swatantrata Sainik Samman’ pension scheme. They include Suez canal army revolt in 1943 during Quit India Movement and Am-bala Cantt.Army revolt in 1943, Jhansi regiment case in 1943, Rani Jhansi Regiment and Azad Hind of INA (1943-45), Mollvel revolt movement conducted by Netaji in 1940 at Calcutta, Royal Indian Navy Mutiny, Khilafat Movement, Harsha-China Morcha(1946-47), Mopla rebellion, Army samaj movement in the erstwhile Hyderabad state, Madurai conspiracy case (1945-47), Taran Taran Morcha, Quit India Movement in 1942 and others.