Nation Current Affairs 18 Jul 2018 Tyagis fought for fr ...

Tyagis fought for freedom, their kin fight for pension

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | G SRINIVASAN
Published Jul 18, 2018, 6:43 am IST
Updated Jul 18, 2018, 6:43 am IST
Freedom fighters will be honoured on that occasion at national, state and district headquarters across the country.
Thanjavur district collector A. Annadurai honouring freedom fighters at the Independence Day celebrations held in Thanjavur last year (2017). (Photo: DC)
 Thanjavur district collector A. Annadurai honouring freedom fighters at the Independence Day celebrations held in Thanjavur last year (2017). (Photo: DC)

THANJAVUR: India is going to celebrate its 71st year anniversary of its Independence on August 15, this year.

Freedom fighters will be honoured on that occasion at national, state and district headquarters across the country. But do you know that most of the freedom fighters-particularly those who served the Indian National Army of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, have not received the Central government pension being given to them?

 

Many have died. But their spouses are entitled to get the pension. While many have applied they are yet to receive it. Several even did not know that a pension scheme exists.

Others, who knew that a central pension scheme exists for them did not know the method to apply.

During silver jubilee year of Indian Independence, a Central scheme for grant of pension to freedom fighters and their eligible dependents (where freedom fighters have already expired) was introduced with effect from August 15, 1972, by the Central government.

In 1980, the scheme was liberalised and renamed as’Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme 1980' and made effective from August 1, 1980. For the year 2017-18, Central government has allotted ` 750 crore for paying pension.

 

According to statistics available with the Union Home ministry 1,71,605 freedom fighters and spouses have been sanctioned pensions. But only 37,981 are covered out of whom 24,792 are spouses and 1,499 are daughters in the whole country. In Tamil Nadu 557 freedom fighters receive this Central pension, 1,658 dependent spouse pensioners and 37 dependent daughter pensioners receive the pension.

“But this is only tip of iceberg. There are lot of them and their dependents in case of demise of the freedom fighter and even daughters who have not received them,” said K. Elangovan, an advocate who has taken up some individual cases and applied for Central pension from Thanjavur.

 

Ms. N. Kasthuri, wife of late Natesan Vanathiriyar, a resident of Athipatti in Pattukottai taluk, Thanjavur district has sought the help of Elangovan to get the Central government's pension.  Natesan Vanathiriyar, son of Ramaswamy Vanthiriyar, was a sepoy, (reg.no15075) in unit two guerrilla regiment of Bose-led INA. He was in jail in Singapore and Delhi from 1942 to 1944. He was receiving State Government pension. He applied for Central government pension in 1972 when he was alive.

 He also got a High Court direction to the Central government to give pension to him. But he died in 2013 after which his wife N. Kasthuri became eligible for the State government pension. She is now getting ` 6,500 per month as pension from the State government, which according to her is not adequate. If she gets Central government pension, she will get `26,000 to ` 28,000. Kasthuri, (63) has pursued the matter through advocate Elangovan.

 

.”It has become a herculean task for me to get things done as I have to collect lot of documents and write to many offices including Prime Minister's office. But we succeeded to some extent and when State government i.e. district collector sends his recommendation, Central government pension will be sanctioned for Kasthuri. Centre wants applications to come with recommendation from State government,” said Elangovan.  “I have two daughters and two sons. If I get this pension it will be helpful for me,” said Kasthuri.

 

“After seeing this many more in that area, whose dependents of those who served INA have approached me for getting Central government pension,” Elangovan said.  

Central government enhanced the pension and announced it on August 18, 2016. Accordingly Ex-Anadaman political prisoners/spouses for whom monthly pension was Rs 24,775 has been enhanced to Rs 30,000 with effect from August 15, 2016.

For freedom fighters who suffered outside British India, pension has been enhanced to ` 28,000 from ` 23,085. For other freedom fighters/spouses, pension was increased to `26,000 from ` 21,395. For dependent parents and eligible daughters (maximum three daughters at any point of time),  it has been made 50 per cent of the sum that would have been admitted to the freedom fighter, viz. in the range of Rs 18,000 to Rs 15,000 from Rs 3,380 for dependent parents and ` 5,070 for dependent daughters.

 

The Home ministry administers ‘Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana’  for grant of Central’Samman pension' and facilities to the freedom fighters, and after their demise to the eligible dependents who apply for central’Samman' pension and who fulfill the eligibility conditions /evidentiary requirements and produce requisite documents duly recommended by the State Government prescribed in the scheme.

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