Jawalamukhi (Vijyender Sharma)
Pension of their widows and unmarried daughters, marriage grant also increased along-with assistance for performing last rites
While speaking on the occasion of State Level Freedom Fighters Conference at Jawalamukhi in district Kangra today, Chief Minister of Himachal Pardesh Virbhadra Singh announced enhancement of ‘Samman Rashi’ of the freedom fighters from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 and equal enhancement of pension of the widows and unmarried daughters of the freedom fighters from 5000 to 15,000. He also announced enhancing of the amount for performing last rites of freedom fighters from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 25000 and financial assistance from Rs, 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 for performing last rites of widows of freedom fighters. The Chief Minister announced enhancement of marriage grants to the daughters and granddaughters from Rs. 21,000 to Rs. 31,000. He also announced to nominate two members of the wards of freedom fighters in Freedom Fighters Welfare Board and permanent entry of the families of freedom fighters in revenue records.
Besides, the Chief Minister announced to clear the backlog in government jobs as soon as possible. He also directed to complete the remaining road/path till the house of freedom fighters within six months and also to bring married daughters and granddaughters within the fold of existing two percent reservation for government jobs.
He said that we honour our freedom fighters for they made freedom a living reality. We are here because of their refusal to submit to the indignity of slavery and their luminescent vision of a united and free India. Because of them, we saw the light of freedom and making India free from the British rule said, the Chief Minister. “To the nameless and unsung heroes of our freedom struggle, we offer our humble tributes today”, he said. Their sacrifices nourished the body of independent India and we were blessed with the presence of large number of freedom fighters with us here on this occasion, he said.Virbhadra Singh said that our independence was hard fought and as true son of soil of ‘Bharat’ we need to preserve and pass on to the younger generation the mantra of conservation of traditions, customs, language and the history of valour of our freedom fighters by rising above selflessness.
He said that it was proved in the war for independent India that ‘Ahmisa’ (non–violence) was most lethal weapon and it was due to that we attained strength, and the war for freedom was made a mass movement. Thereafter, first Prime Minister, Late Shri Jawahar Lal Nehru took pledge to develop India to make itself dependant in all sectors and today India was one of the super power in the world. This was made possible by freedom fighters, whose sacrifices had built a strong Nation. He said that it was the agitations of the Congress party which led the attainment of freedom and we should remember this in times to come. He said that the soldiers from the State exhibited exemplary courage in the war towards freedom and various other battles. We should be proud of Major Somnath Sharma from, Dadh in Kangra, who was conferred upon with the first Param Vir Chakra.The Chief Minster said that State Government had implemented a scheme for honouring the freedom fighters of the State under Himachal Pradesh ‘Swantantrata Senani Samman Yojna’ for providing financial assistance (Samman Rashi) to 60 living freedom fighters and the widows of 601 freedom fighters besides to their unmarried daughters. There were 661 freedom fighters from the State.
He said that the State Government was also providing free medical facilities to both the freedom fighters and their widows for which a special provision had been made in budgetary allocation of health department. Besides, they were being provided free travelling facilities in HRTC buses and two percent reservation was being provided to their wards in government jobs.
The Chief Minister also honoured the freedom fighters on the occasion and evinced keen interest in the exhibition in memory of freedom fighters organised by department of Language, Art and Culture. The Chief Minister earlier inaugurated the opening of civil hospital, Jawalamukhi.Vice-Chairman, Freedom Fighters Welfare Board Shri Sushil Rattan welcomed the Chief Minister and honoured him on behalf of all the freedom fighters. He said that the Board was indebted to Shri Virbhadra Singh for the measures taken for the welfare of the freedom fighters and their dependants. He also placed several demands before the Chief Minister and thanked for directions issued in the Board meeting for constructing link or ambulance roads up to the homes of freedom fighters. MLA Sanjay rattan thanked the Chief Minster for opening the civil hospital, Jawalamukhi. He read out the demands of the freedom fighters and urged for filling up two percent backlog in jobs to wards of freedom fighter in a stipulated time period. He said their married daughters and married granddaughters should also be brought within the fold of existing two percent reservation for government jobs. A two minutes silence was also observed in the memory of Martyrs.
Freedom fighters from the State and their dependants, Chairman, KCCB Shri Jagdish Sapheiya, Vice-Chairperson, State Forest Corporation Shri Kewal Singh Pathania, Vice-Chairman, Employees Welfare Board Shri Surinder Mankotia, Brigadier Rajendra Rana, Secretary GAD Shri Mohan Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner Shri CP Verma and SP Shri Sanjeev Gandhi were also present on the occasion amongst others.