Social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday joined ex-servicemen and the families of Kargil war martyrs who were protesting over the delay in implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
"Will do whatever needs to be done. Assurances from government are not enough, we need implementation. We still have two months left, we will travel across the nation and wake up people. We will go for the rally in Ludhiana on August 2, in Rohtak on August 9 and in Maharashtra on August 23," Daily News & Analysis quoted Hazare as saying at the 'Run for OROP' event organised by retired soldiers.
He said the jawans, who are fighting at the border so that the people in his country can sleep peacefully, are finding it difficult to lead a dignified life. "Veterans serve the country but do not get their due," IANS quoted him as saying.
"A jawan is awake at night, that's why people sleep peacefully. But that jawan isn't being allowed to live with dignity... There are several war widows here. They get a pension of Rs 4,000. In this day and age, how will they run a family?" NDTV quoted Hazare as saying.
Hazare reiterated his plan to go on an indefinite hunger strike if the Central government fails to implement OROP scheme in the next two months. He will begin the strike on 2 October, on Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary, at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.
"We still have two months left and I will travel across the country to seek people's support," he added.
Ex-servicemen, led by Major D P Singh, began the 'Run for OROP' event at 6 am on Sunday and ended it at Jantar Mantar. They demanded the government to give a specific date on the implementation of OROP. A section of the retired soldiers are sitting on hunger strike since 15 June for the same.
The protestors want the OROP scheme to remain unchanged. Under the scheme, retired ex-servicemen of equal rank, having equal term of service, are entitled to similar pension irrespective of the date of their retirement.
However, at present, the soldiers get their pension based on the Pay Commission pay scales, under which they get different pensions based on their date of retirement, although they have served the same time period.