CM-Designate, BJP, Dr. Harshvardhan assured the Delhi voters that the old-age pensions will be made universal and the existing cap on it removed
New Delhi, Nov. 28, 2013: Today the issue of Pensions to the elderly of Delhi became the focus of Pension Parishad. A survey conducted by civil society organisations of Delhi has revealed that over eighty percent of the eligible elderly are not benefitting from the Pension Scheme. Over five-hundred elderly people from Delhi, were eager to know from political representatives and women leaders as to whether this issue of pension is of any importance to them.
Speaking at the Pension Parishad dharna at Jantar Mantar, Ms. Mohini Giri, the former chairperson of the National Commission for Women said, “In the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, only those parties should be supported which declare in their manifestoes that they’ll provide universal pension (at least two-thousand Rs. per month).” This month-long dharna is being organised with the objective of getting the Parliament (during the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament) to accept the demands of the Pension Parishad.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Chief Minister-designate of the BJP, while assuring the voters of Delhi assembled at the Pension Parishad that they stand for universal pensions barring the obvious exclusions, agreed that the present cap of 3.5 lakh should be done away with. He also added that a Senior Citizens’ Commission comprising civil society members and others who are concerned about the issues of the elderly will be set up if they come to power.
Shri VedPrakash, AICC representative assured the participants o the Pension Parishad dharna that he will personally take the memorandum submitted by them to the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit and convey to her the urgency oft the issue and the need to do something with immediate effect to redress the grievance of the elderly in Delhi
Speaking at the dharna, Prashant Bhushan, well-known lawyer and a Founding Member of the Aam Aadmi Party, said that presently the issue of Pensions is not in their manifesto, but, while interacting with the people at the dharna, he has realised how serious an issue it is. He also said that they’ll include this demand prominently in their manifesto. The women present at the dharna told Mr. Bhushan that their party should give as much importance to the issue of Pension as they are giving to the issue of increasing electricity and water tariffs. Agreeing with this, Mr. Bhushan assured them that if the AAP comes in power they’ll ensure that the pension issue is given utmost priority and the funds allocated to the State will be used for this purpose.
Addressing the dharna, Rajya Sabha MP, Mr. Ali Anwar said that the government is not that sensitive on the issues of the elderly as it should be. He also severely criticised the Pension Scheme of the Delhi Government. He also assured the participants that he’ll raise the issue of pension in the Rajya Sabha strongly.
A sixty-five-year-old participant from Maharashtra, Meerabai Panwar, sharing her plight said that neither her husband is able to work and support her nor her children live with her. She has to work in three homes as a domestic help and manages to earn a paltry sum of twelve-hundred Rs. every month. She said that lakhs of women across the country have to live in such penury and that is why it is absolutely necessary that the government pays at least two thousand rupees every month as pensions.
Legislators and representatives from various political parties will keep visiting this month-long dharna and people will keep asking questions to them.