Pension windfall

Pension windfall


Thirty five years after they participated in the Sampoorna Kranti (Total Revolution) movement that Jayaprakash Narayan led in 1974 at Patna the rewards come now.
 At least 8,770 persons will now be entitled to the JP Senanai Samman Yojna. The scheme is a tribute to those activists who had raised a banner of revolt against the then Congress Government led by Indira Gandhi.

Though the Congress has slammed the move saying the proposal could not be equated with the Swatantra Senanai Yojna (Freedom Fighters’ Scheme) as those who participated in the freedom struggle had opposed British rule, while in the JP movement case, an agitation was launched against a duly-elected Union Government.
Notwithstanding the Congress objection, the Nitish regime in Bihar has identified many JP (Jayaprakash Narayan)followers. These persons will be entitled to receive pension with effect from June 1, 2009. Those activists who were jailed for six months or more would receive Rs 5000 as pension. Others who were imprisoned for one to six months under Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) or Defence of India Rule (DIR) would get a pension of Rs 2500, and persons injured in police firing during the movement would also get Rs 2500 per month.Jayaprakash Narayan seen along with former prime

The next of kin of JP’s followers who died in police firing and those who died during imprisonment would get a monthly pension of Rs 5000 each. The pension plan is the brainchild of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who himself is a byproduct of JP movement. He, along with Lalu Prasad and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, were high profile student leaders of 1974 movement. Such was its socio-political impact that Lalu, named his eldest daughter Misa to oppose the draconian law: Maintenance of Internal Security Act or MISA.

Entitled to pension
The new pension scheme would impose an additional burden of Rs 31 crore on the State exchequer annually. The plan has been conceived and implemented in such a way that those JP followers, who were employed, would also be entitled to pension.
Besides, these pensioners would be given free passes for themselves and their spouses for travelling in Bihar State Road Transport Corporation buses besides free medical treatment in government hospitals, Central Government Health Service recognized hospitals and designated private hospitals .

They would also be issued identity cards. Though altogether 8770 persons have been identified, there are many such activists who have missed the bus. The Nitish regime has, therefore, set up an Advisory Council headed by noted Sarvodaya leader Acharya Ramamurti to identify and recommend the names of such persons who did not apply to avail the benefits of this pension scheme.

 “A large number of JP followers who served prison terms for less than a month, worked underground, or helped the movement in any other way, besides a large number of journalists, poets, and social workers who supported the movement would be identified and publicly felicitated for standing up to protect democracy,” averred Nitish.  

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