When at Jantar Mantar, the prominent thing one sees is the OROP protest going on—a united approach by ex-servicemen of the country to gain their “rights.” What might escape the eye or may stay ignored is the presence of two separate camps for the same OROP protest.
The camp making news is the one which is led by Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh. The less-known camp is of those who claim that they have been sidelined by their fellow colleagues in the pension dilemma.
Ex-serviceman Naik Avtar Singh said: “They have in a way sidelined us. Our pension amount is less. Why so, when we fought on same borders? This has led to a separate camp.”
Saabka Sainik Sangarash Committee (TarnTaran), as the separate and smaller camp names self, has claimed that there is a consistent human rights violation of the widows of soldiers.
According to them “the pension of the widows of officers has been increased again and again, but the pensions of the soldiers’ widows remain the same.”
If the increase in the pensions was kept equally proportionate then accordingly the pension of the officer’s widow will be Rs. 15758.40/ month and the pension of the soldier’s widow would be Rs. 9380/month.
There is also a difference between the disability pension given to a soldier and an officer—it is not given on the basis of disability but on the basis of rank.
Consequently, the apathy and disagreements has brought the fracture between two camps to fore.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called upon scientists to take up challenges in their research for bettering the daily lives of common citizens, especially farmers, help in reaching clean drinking water, solar power to the people, and solving problems such as pollution.
Highlighting the importance of ‘science for society’, Modi said when all “scientists, all citizens, will move forward with this understanding, both the country and mankind will be benefited”.
“To know the connection between science and society, we have to give answers to some questions. Everybody knows the pollution problem due to increased use of plastic. Can our scientists take up the challenge to come up with saleable and cost effective material which can take the place of plastic?” the Prime Minister asked while inaugurating the India International Science Festival through video conferencing from Delhi.
Modi exhorted scientists assembled from India and abroad for the mega event whether they can take up the challenge to find a better way to store energy or electricity.
“Can we get a solution so that the use of solar power can go up, can we come up with an innovation related to battery and other infrastructure to reach electric mobility to the common man?
“Have we thought of doing something in our lab which can improve the lives of crores of people? Can we find a solution to local drinking water problems and reach clean drinking water to the people?” he asked.