We will not leave the capital till we meet the Prime Minister and get him listen to our stories about hunger and neglect resolved the elderly assembled at Jantar Mantar since 27 November
New Delhi, 7 December 2013: The hundreds of elderly women and men assembled at Jantar Mantar, demanding universal old age pensions are determined not to give up their effort to meet the Prime Minister and apprise him of the travail the elderly face.
Speaking about this Aruna Roy Pension Parishad, stated that a delegation of around 100 elderly men and women who went to meet Dr. Manmohan Singh at his office cum residence did so with the hope that he would “hear their stories about hunger and illness, and the predicament of their existence,” but were instead detained and herded to the Parliament Street Police Station. Undeterred by this experience, the Pension Parishad have once again written to the Prime Minister urging him to meet them.
“What is worrisome for the elderly people is the fact that far from tabling the restructured National Social Assistance Program (NSAP) for cabinet approval, the government has gone ahead and begun cutting the already committed to and allocated budgets earmarked for social sector development,” stated Nikhil Dey.
In response to this regressive effort, all people’s campaigns on pension, health and education among many others are now coming together to protest against the present move of the government to cut and reduce the budgets allocated to frontline social sector ministries such as Rural Development.
Realizing the deleterious effect of the proposed move by the government to further cut the already meager budgets for social sector departments, such as education, Kiran Bhatty, an active campaigner on education for all feels that this move will only help to “put the last nail on the coffin as the effort to implement the Right to Education Bill will be a non-starter without the requisite financial and human resources.”
The Pension Parishad a coalition of nearly 150 civil society organization, who have been sitting in dharna at Jantar Mantar since 27 November are demanding Universal and Non Contributory Old Age Pension System to be immediately established by the government with a minimum, dignified monthly pension of not less than 50% of the minimum wage or Rs 2000/- per month, whichever is higher.
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