Himachal Pradesh was contemplating over the proposal to raise a State-Level Freedom Fighter Memorial at suitable place besides Suket Satyagrah Memorial in Suket area of district Mandi as a mark of respect to the greet freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the success of the freedom movement. This was revealed by Shri Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, who is also Chairman of the State Freedom Fighters Welfare Board, in its 14th Meeting held here under his chairmanship today.
Â· Special drive for recruitment of wards of freedom fighters to be launched
Â· Special Scheme for soft loans to freedom fighters to be formulated.
Â· Rs. 10,000 given as marriage grant to daughters of freedom fighters
He said that a suitable place would be selected in consultation with the freedom fighters and intellectuals for raising the State Level Freedom Fighter Memorial to pay homage to the warriors of the nation hailing from Himachal Pradesh. He said that Suket Satyagrah was the one major non-cooperation and disobedience movement launched from within the State and many freedom fighters laid their lives to spread the movement to other areas of the State and awaken the masses against the foreign rulers. He said that his government was considering raising a separate Suket Satyagrah Memorial in memory of the freedom fighters of the erstwhile Suket state at suitable location so that the young generation could know about the great warriors who contributed by sacrificing their lives for the independence of the country.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that his Government was considering to launch a special drive for the recruitment of the wards of the freedom fighters after carrying a special survey to identify the families of the freedom fighters which had not so far been benefited under the two percent reservation policy enacted by the State Government for the wards of the freedom fighters to complete the backlog and if needed, additional posts suiting to their eligibility conditions would also be considered and created. He said that the children of the freedom fighters would be given top priority for recruitment against the posts reserved for them and followed by their grand children who fulfil the eligibility conditions for the specific posts. He said that the state government was also considering formulation of a special scheme aimed at providing soft loans to the freedom fighters for house building so that families who wanted to avail of such facilities were benefited.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that the State Government had launched the â€˜Himachal Pradesh Freedom Fighters Samman Yojnaâ€™ aimed at providing pension to the freedom fighters and transferring pensionary benefits to the widows and unmarried daughters of the freedom fightes after their demise and 1,126 were availing of the benefits under the scheme in the State. He said that the State Government would also be sympathetically considering inclusion of the only disabled children for transfer of the pension of their parents or grand parents. He said that a marriage grant of Rs. 10,000 was also being disbursed as marriage grant to the daughters of the freedom fighters. He said that the State Government was also providing grant for performance of the last rites of the freedom fighters by according it State Funeral and the same would be attended by an officer not below the rank of a Sub Divisional Magistrate to represent the State Government.
Chief Minister directed the authorities to ensure that seat numbers 8 and 9 were specifically earmarked for the freedom fighters in all the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation buses and conductors directed the extend due courtesy to the freedom fighters and get the seat vacated for veteran freedom fighters. He said that possibilities would also be explored to pursue the private bus operators to extend same courtesy and service to the freedom fighters in their buses. He said that similarly the freedom fighters would be required to be examined in all the health institutions separately by extending due courtesy and on out of turn basis so that the veterans were not forced to stand in the queues. He directed the authorities to clear all their medical bills within one month and maintain separate register for its entry after issuing proper receipt to the claimants.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that the State was proud of its veteran freedom fighters who were the source of inspiration to the young generation for inculcation of patriotism and nationalism as inherent qualities in their personality. He said that the life histories of the prominent freedom fighters was also being taught to the children alongwith their regular studies in schools. He reiterated the resolve of his government to extend due courtesy to the freedom fighters and provide best of the benefits to them and their wards to help them lead a socially comfortable life.
Two minutes silence was observed to pay homage to the veteran freedom fighters who had left for their heavenly abode between the period of the last and current meeting of the Board.
Shri Susheel Rattan, Vice-Chairman, State Freedom Fighters Welfare Board, proposed vote of thanks and said that it had been under the patronage of Shri Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, that the freedom fighters of the State were being provided best of the benefits and incentives besides due honour and respect at all the functions and celebrations. He also apprised the Chief Minister of various other personal grievances of the freedom fighters.
Shri S.S.Parmar, Chief Secretary, welcomed the Chief Minister and the non-official members of the Board and offered his tribute on behalf of the State Government to the freedom fighters who had dies in between the last and current meetings. He also detailed the benefits being delivered to the freedom fighters by the State Government from time to time and said that it were best in the country.
Shri V.C.Pharka, Secretary GAD apprised the Board of the agenda items of the meeting and the action taken by different current departments to settle the issues.
Shri Avay Shukla, Principal Secretary, Transport and Tourism, Shri Ashok Thakur, Principal Secretary Forests, Shri Subhash Negi, Principal Secretary PWD, Dr. P.C.Kapoor, Secretary Housing, Shri Narender Chauhan, Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Dr. Srikant Baldi, Managing Director, HRTC, Shri L.R.Chauhan, Additional Secretary GAD, Dr. Prem Sharma, Director Language and Culture, Dr. M.L.Mahajan, Director of Health Services, Shri S.P.Negi, Engineer-in-Chief HPPWD, Shri Chaman Dilta, Deputy Secretary Revenue were prominent among other senior officers of the state.