SSC Ex-Servicemen demand pension, health benefits from the government
New Delhi : The ex-servicemen who fought the battles of 1965 and 1971 for India have reached Delhi to press for their demand on pension rights and medical benefits. Addressing media persons at Press Club of India, the representative of SSC ex-servicemen Captain Jaspal Singh - who fought in the battle of 1971 - alleged bias towards them on the part of the government when it comes to granting aids and post-retirement benefits.
"We are demanding similar pensions and medical benefits just like the regular officers recruited in the Army. After serving the Indian Army for five to ten years and participating in several operations, we were informed that we won't be eligible for pension and medical benefits after retirement. We have also fought wars of 1965 and 1971 for the country and demand the pensions at par with the rest of retired army veterans. We also demand proper health benefits.
"The SSC officers demand that they should also be included in the OROP, which the government implemented in 2015, as we also served the country and sacrificed their lives during the wars," said Captain Jaspal Singh.
"Today even the civilians are being catered to several benefits under the schemes of the state and central government the SSC and Emergency Commissioned officers are still facing the neglect for there is no policy for them. These SSC Ex-Servicemen do not get treated at the Military Hospitals any more and they are forced to do odd jobs to earn a livelihood. Soldiers who fought for the country and won several gallantry awards are devoid of pensions and other basic facilities," Mr Singh added further.
The representatives of the ex-servicemen officers have informed that they have met the Raksha Mantri and Chief of Army Staff twice but so far nothing positive has happened.
"We were informed by the Defence Ministry officials that since SSC Officers are more than one lakh in number, the Ministry is unable to provide us with pension and medical facilities under the ECHS. We would like to inform them that there are a total of 7000 SSC officers and we come from different parts of India," added Captain Jaspal.
Captain Harish Gulati, who fought in the 1965 war, said, "The condition of politicians, arrested during the times of Emergency, is better than the Emergency Commissioned soldiers who fought for the country during wars. The politicians are receiving various facilities in their respective states. The freedom fighters are getting a monthly pension of Rs 25000, even their kin are getting pension benefits from the government. But SSC officers are still facing the neglect despite fighting on the battlefield for their motherland."