Monday, July 27, 2015
Demand for OROP: ‘Blade-runner’ D P Singh to continue his fight
Major D P Singh will be up at 2.30 am, hours before the rest of the country wakes up on Sunday, the day the nation proudly marks the Kargil Vijay Diwas.
Singh, who lost his right leg while fighting the 1999 Kargil War, will spend the next two hours trying to put on his prosthetic limb. By 5.30 am, he will be at Dhaula Kuan, where he will be joined by other military veterans, in t-shirts emblazoned with slogans seeking the implementation of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.
At 5.45 am, Singh, popularly known as the Indian Army’s ‘blade-runner’, will start his 11-km run. His journey will take him through Teen Murti Marg, Akbar Road and Connaught Place and will include a homage at Vijay Chowk before culminating at Jantar Mantar at 7.30 am.
While the run has been organised to support the larger cause of OROP, Singh also has another reason to undertake the gruelling physical exercise. He will be running for the sake of the army’s many faceless and nameless soldiers.
On July 15, 1999, four of them had risked their lives to rescue him from the battlefield, in the thick of the Kargil conflict. “If those four jawans had not picked me up from the battle zone, I would not have been alive today. It is for them, for the Indian soldier, that I feel I should run,” Singh told The Sunday Express.
He will spend the rest of Kargil Vijay Diwas at Jantar Mantar, where he will be joined by social activist Anna Hazare, to demand the implementation of OROP.
Singh’s long and arduous journey to overcome his physical limitations, after being seriously injured in Kargil War, is fairly well known. Not so well-known is the fact that the officer had to fight a long, gruelling legal battle to claim his rightful dues. The 14-year-long fight culminated with an order from the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) in 2013, asking the Army to pay Singh the correct pension amount due to him.
But Singh is reluctant to talk about it. “It is in the final stage of implementation now,” he says without divulging any more details about the “personal” struggle.
Singh also happens to be part of a committee, proposed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, to resolve issues and litigations related to pension and service benefits of army personnel.
(Source- Sanjha Morcha)