‘We had high hopes from the PM’

“We have been asking the govt to provide us with a fixed medical pension since 2009, only to be told off each time we approached the authorities,” says Jaspal Singh, army veteran and SCS officer

Captain (Retd) Jaspal Singh

Despite projecting itself as a nationalist government, the current rulers of the country have failed to address the concerns of the Short Commissioned Service (SCS) officers. We have been asking the government to provide us with a fixed medical pension since 2009, only to be told off each time we approached the authorities. We had particularly high hopes from the Prime Minister in 2014. He promised One Rank One Pension and a host of other benefits to the defence personnel, both serving and retired.

Despite serving in the Army as a captain for five years and being fielded in the western theatre at the time of 1971 War, we get nothing from the government in the form of pension or any medical assistance.

Photo Courtesy: www.ncaacademy.com
Photo Courtesy: www.ncaacademy.com
A representative image

I have had four meetings with different leaders of this government, including several with Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman and General (retired) VK Singh.

In all these interactions, they promised that they would ensure that we get the minimum basic rights that retired defence personnel in any country get. But our appeals have fallen on deaf years. The SCS officers have been dying in numbers due to medical neglect for the lack of funds, a fact we have highlighted to the government. Even the Supreme Court has ruled in our favour, after the government approached them against giving any medical pension to us. But it seems that the government is not interested at all. My only expectation out of 2019 is to get our medical pensions, so that we could at least die in peace.

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