MYSURU: At a time when the country is gearing up to celebrate the 74th Independence Day, freedom fighters in the state are left high and dry because of delay in disbursal of their pension (honorarium).
According to several freedom fighters in the city, they have not received their pension of Rs 10,000 for the last three months. They said the delay amid the Covid pandemic has come as a double whammy to them and their dependents. Many of the freedom fighters are dependent on the pension for their medical needs, so the delay has severely affected them.
Mysuru District and City Freedom Fighters Association president Dr M G Krishnamurthy said though they had met the authorities to seek disbursal of pension, the officials gave the coronavirus duties as an excuse for not processing the pension.
“Earlier, pension was credited directly to our account from the treasury department and it was implemented by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Services (DPAR). But several months ago, a decision was taken to give the responsibility to the respective Deputy Commissioner’s office, following which we were told that the pension will now be directly credited to accounts. But we have not received the pension from May and when we question the officials, they give Covid duty as an excuse, or any technical issue,” said Krishnamurthy.
He said there are 3,928 freedom fighters and their dependents in the state, including 110 from Mysuru, who have not received the pension for the last three months. “Over 80% of them are completely dependent on the pension given by the government, and the Covid-19 crisis has turned out to be a testing time for most of them,” he said.
Another freedom fighter, who did not wish to be identified, said, “Recognising our efforts in the freedom struggle, the government announced an honorarium for us. But now they are failing to make timely payments. Self-esteem stops us from coming out and complaining against this.”
When the matter was brought to his notice, Mysuru Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G Sankar said he is not aware of the delay and promised to look into the issue.