The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju chaired the 2nd meeting of the “Committee of Eminent Freedom Fighters” at SKICC Srinagar, J&K, on Friday. During the meeting the Committee held detailed deliberations on the various issues of concern to the Freedom Fighters, an official statement said.
“The Committee considered the issues including granting reservation in Central Government Services to all Dependents of the Freedom Fighters, permitting Grand Sons and Daughters of the Freedom Fighters to study in the Central Schools spread all over India, providing employment to families of the Freedom Fighters including Petrol Pump, Gas Agency etc, giving job in Railways to at least one person recommended by Freedom Fighters and providing free electricity to all the Freedom Fighters,” the statement said.
The statement said that during the meeting, the Committee’s agenda also included extending Bank Loan to Dependents of all the Freedom Fighters, providing Temporary Accommodation/Stay for the Freedom Fighters in District Headquarters, revalidation of Orders related to Medical Facilities provided to Freedom Fighters, Renewal of complimentary Railway Passes for three years instead of one year, extending free Railway Passes to all eligible Dependents/Successors of Freedom Fighters and free toll tax to all Freedom Fighters while travelling on National Highways.
“The Committee also considered increasing the Basic Pension of Freedom Fighters/Daughters, Verification of Freedom Fighters/Dependents Family Pensioners, Switch over of PPOs from SBI to Other Nationalised banks, Mandatory Transfer of PPOs from Treasuries to Banks besides confirmation of the minutes of the meeting held at Port Blair on September 3, 2014,” it further said.
The statement informed that “Eminent Freedom Fighters Committee” has eight members with JS (FF) as Member Secretary and MoS (Home) as its Chairman.
It also added that the Freedom Fighters’ Pension Scheme (FFPS) was introduced on August 15, 1972 during 25th year of independence (Silver Jubilee Year).
“Till July 31, 1980, the Freedom Fighters’ pension was admissible only to those who needed financial assistance on account of their meagre gross income; and the minimum pension sanctioned to a freedom fighter was Rs 200/ per month. The benefit of FFPS was extended to all freedom fighters as a token respect (samman) w.e.f. August 1, 1980 under Swatantarta Sainik Samman Pension Scheme,” the statement said.
The ‘freedom fighters’ who attended the meeting include Vidya Sagar Shukla, Radheswas Prassad Singh, Rai Singh Patanga, Om Prakash, G.S. Mitra, N.R. Mathad and Rampilla Narasayamma.