Govt issues order raising freedom fighter pension

The government has promulgated an order increasing the pension for freedom fighters by 20%, following an announcement made by PM Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech.

Ex-Andaman prisoners or their spouses, who are receiving Rs 25,000, will now get Rs 30,000. The revised scale shall take effect from 15th of August, 2016, Home Ministry said. The regular pensioners will now get Rs 26,000 versus Rs 21,395 earlier.

All freedom fighters and spouses and dependent parents or eligible daughter pensioners of deceased freedom fighters drawing pension under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme would be benefited by the decision.

At present 37,981 freedom fighters and their eligible dependent pensioners are covered under the scheme. Of these, 11,690 are freedom fighters themselves, 24,792 are spouses and 1,499 are daughter pensioners.

In 1969, Government of India introduced the ‘Ex-Andaman Political Prisoners Pension Scheme’ to honour the freedom fighters who had been incarcerated in the Cellular Jail at Port Blair.

In 1972, a regular scheme for grant of freedom fighters’ pension was introduced.

Thereafter, with effect from 01.08.1980, a liberalized scheme, namely the ‘Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme’ is being implemented.

Besides the freedom fighters, spouses, unmarried and unemployed daughters (upto maximum three at any point of time) and parents of deceased freedom fighters are eligible for pension under the scheme.

Modi had also announced that museums would be established in different states to glorify the role of lesser-known tribal freedom fighters.

“Tribals played an important role in our freedom struggle. Our government is planning to open museums all over the country to glorify their role so that future generations can know about their sacrifices,” PM Modi said.