December 21, 2009
Ex-defence personnel want Govt to resolve pension issue
Members of the Indian ex-servicemen movement (IESM) held their first annual general meeting on December 13 at the community centre of Sector-37, Noida. Over 400 ex-servicemen and families from all over the country attended the first meeting of IESM.
The demand for one rank and one pension was raised vociferously by members and they resolved to continue their struggle till it was met.
Chairman of IESM, Lt Gen Raj Kadyan said, "The Central Government should not test our patience. So far thousands of former servicemen have returned medals to President and this will happen again in January and the number of medal returnees would be more than ever before".
"I strongly believe that ex-defence personnel are a rich national asset and the government should involve them in nation building activities like education, health and environment issues, especially in rural areas where we have a large number of them residing. IESM should also work towards this goal," said Commodore Lokesh K Batra. Col. Rajesh Kwatra said, "When we serve the country, the government assures us all basic facilities but after retirement it forgets even our basic needs."
ON LINE EDITION
Monday, December 21, 2009, Chandigarh, India
Ex-servicemen blame babus for their plight
Tribune News Service
Patiala, December 20
The Punjab State Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association has expressed its “utter dismay” over manner in which the union and state government has treated ex-servicemen. The association leaders have squarely blamed the bureaucrats for the present plight of the ex-servicemen. According to association representatives, babus deliberately oppose decisions aimed at the welfare of the ex-servicemen community.
State president of the association Col (retd) Kuldip Singh Grewal said after retirement at an early age, soldiers are put in category of unskilled workers in the government, semi-government and private establishments. He rued that in order to produce a soldier, who could fight with enemy in battlefield, besides undergoing refresher courses, intensive training has been imparted to the soldiers. “Hence, the state government should look into it and issue orders that the retired soldiers will be given status of skilled worker,” he demanded.
Taking up another issue, Grewal claimed that during the recent recruitment drive initiated by the Punjab police for recruiting constables, the candidature of those ex-servicemen, who had not passed Punjabi at matriculation level and had overstepped two years stipulation after date of retirement, was rejected.
“Our association demands that condition of two years stipulation after retirement should be abolished and the ex-servicemen candidates must be given stipulated period to pass Punjabi examination,” he said. Grewal further rued that in sheer defiance of the government instructions, retired soldiers are being “harassed” in the government offices. “The ex-servicemen are not being given due respect, particularly by the officials of the police and revenue departments,” he alleged, while adding that the government must issue strict directions to the various government departments, not to harass the ex-servicemen.
Grewal said various memorials are raised in honour of the soldiers, who have sacrificed their lives for the nation. “The memorials must bear all names of the martyrs belonging to the district or the area where the memorial has been brought up. Memorial pillar must be updated after every war. Presently, names of some of the martyrs have not found place in the lists engraved on the pillars of some memorials,” he disclosed.