[2013 update] Mobilization for universal pension

PP JJSS cultural team

JJSS cultural team at the Pnesion Parishad Dharna

The elderly from across the country have been assembling at Jantar Mantar during every parliament session since April 2012 to demand universal pension that would enable the elderly in our country to live with dignity. In a first for the JJSS, over 1000 JJSS members and supporters boarded 4 different trains to Delhi to join a national protest organised by the Pension Parishad on 6th March, 2013. Moving saathis in such large numbers from Araria and Katihar to Delhi required a lot of coordination at our end. Given the 24 hour journey and lack of adequate number of trains, four groups were created that traveled to/from Delhi in a batched mode. Necessary instructions and identity cards were distributed to all participants. While saathis carried their rations for the trip to Delhi and their stay there, 1000 dry ration packets were made in Delhi for their journey back, by local volunteers with the help of NAPM that arranged for dry ration contribution.


Baba Adhav addressing the gathering of over fifteen thousand people.

Over 15000 elderly persons from 26 states assembled on this day at the Parliament Street to demand some assurance from the Government. Hon. Minister for Rural Development, Shri Jairam Ramesh responded to Comrade Raja’s and Shri Hussain Dalwai’s questions in parliament and assured the house that he would come back to parliament in five weeks with a restructured National Social Assistance Programme that includes pensions for the elderly, the differently-abled, and single women. Hon. Minister then came to Parliament Street and addressed the gathering.

last PP protest

A cross section of gathering. JJSS saathis made the gathering colourful with their flags !

During the budget session, on March 6, 2013 The ripples from Delhi reached Rajasthan where the Government issued a set of GRs on April 1, that made pensions near universal. The Rajasthan government commenced an enrolment campaign and many hundreds of thousands of the elderly have already started getting pension.  However, the Minister did not keep his promise! the promise and the restructured pension scheme has not yet been tabled in parliament. To remind him and also to send a message to the Hon. Members of Parliament from other states that they must Act to protect the weakest sections of the population, the elderly who have spent their working lives contributing to the economy, it has been decided that representatives from different states will sit on a indefinite sit-in from 25th November, a team of 30 to 40 members will be headed from Bihar.

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