By Sangram Keshari Nayak, General Secretary, AICGPA
(The All India Central Government Pensioners Association (AICGPA), Odisha has completed 26 years of its service to the pensioners. The author of this article being a former Pricnipal Scientist & HOD, Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, has tremendus administrative experience via-a-vis the issues that often affect retired employees. This article is meant to share his concern with our visitors who belong specifically to this sector. Editor)
AICGPA was founded in the year 1984. It was duly registered under the Registration of Societies Act vide No. 4454-124/1986-97. Humbly yet initially it started to function at the residence of Sri Bhramarbar Mohanti after his retirement as Additional Chief Post Master General from Indian Postal Service. Sri Mohanty, the Founder President with only a handful of like minded friends started a self styled consecrated office at his residence, 355, Ganga Mandir, Cuttack. The Association with a band of dedicated Members never leave a stone unturned to resolve heterogonous array of problems afflicting central government pensioners in terms of availing justice such as a) delay in settlement of entitled pension and related ancillary benefits, b) expediting family pension in the event of death of the pensioner or even extending the facility to eligible children, c) grant of compensation to Members sustaining injury on duty (IOD) leading to incapacity, d) timely disbursement of Fixed Medical Allowance and DA as and when updated by the Ministry, e) appraisal of updated pension rules, pension schemes and ensuring time frame relief, f) catalyzing the determination of pension and providing logistics to avail preference of benefits, g) holistic welfare activities and also associated activities related to entertainment, cultural functions, health camps, periodical gesture to orphanages, support to poor and handicapped patients, rendering relief to victims of natural calamities etc. Thus, the Association is committed to more or less provide a turn key solution in a single window system.
The Association has more than 2000 enrolled Life Members besides 500 or more Members from its Branch network. It works in coordination with its supporting branches at Chadeidhara, Raghunathpur, Govindpur, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur and Cuttack Sadar. It musters solidarity to develop more number of Branches in remote areas (recently Bairi) to provide a better linkage to vulnerable pensioners. The Association is accredited for its agility in resolving various grievances with amicable negotiation with competent authorities. The Association is affiliated to National level forums and associations not only to append leverage to their genuine demands but also to appraise the conscientious forums to enable prioritize items of importance.
The AICGPA office is located at the Kanika Square (behind Akshya Mohanty Park) which is provided by the Cuttack Municipal Corporation, Cuttack on a token lease basis. Besides regular day to day activities, it conducts Executive Body Meeting on every 2nd Sunday to scrutinize, analyze and meticulously formulate course of action. Different Branches under its recognition and affiliation also organize monthly meetings which are conveniently scheduled to facilitate the regular visit of our Organizing Secretary besides periodical visits by Senior Office Bearers to sensitize its members on various relevant issues and try to focus their demands on priority basis. The proceedings and achievements are comprehensively consolidated and gets published in its much acclaimed quarterly bulletin known as ‘Pension Samachar’ which is circulated to its Members, Ministry and other Associations for better exchange of ideas and interaction. The Association observes Independence Day, Republic Day, Pensioners’ Day etc which are invariably punctuated with benevolent social activities like supporting study materials to poor students, visits to orphanages to spend some emotional moments with inmates and share lunch as well as games while imparting many of our cultural and traditional values for inculcation. It organizes Health Camps and tries to sponsor such camps in collaboration. Not to forget, at times it organizes picnics at selected spots to enjoy nature, fun and possibly rejuvenate fresh enthusiasm to dedicate more rigorously for the cause and concern of Senior Citizens.
We are a privileged body recognized by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensioners under which the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare functions dynamically to resolve problems of pensioners at large besides generating formulation of befitting rules for better governance. There are more than 150 Associations in the country out of which 28 Associations are recognized by the Ministry for logistic and financial grants to function effectively. The special body is known as ‘Pensioners Portal’ under centralized National e_Governance Programme (NeGP).
Our Association is one of the privileged grantee by the Ministry, Government of India to implement web based Mission Mode Pensioners Portal under National e_Governance Plan to coordinate multifaceted activities like formulating pension and retirement related policies, extensively circulate information and above every thing else it has developed online mechanisms to register grievances for timely and effective redressal. The member Associations are advised on the modalities to handle various grievances and have access to register varieties of pension related or non related issues through a single window CPENGRAMS (Centralized Web-enabled Pension Grievance Redress and Monitoring System) an online web-enabled system, now designated as CPGRAMS . This has convincingly bridged the gap between stakeholders and the Government not only in giving relief to aggrieved pensioners but also making them aware of their rights and responsibilities as well as obligations. It is an integrated application system, based on web technology which registers grievances from anywhere and any time (24×7) basis. Besides, it is an efficient communication system between the nodal Pension Grievance Officers of Government Organizations and pensioners that facilitates speedy redressal of grievances.
We, by default have the access to represent to Standing Committee Of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA) 1986 as per the recommendations of Parliamentary Consultative Committee. It provides valuable feedback to the Government for effective implementation of the programmes and gives direction for the future course of action. Our sister concern at Bhubaneswar is a sitting Member with voting right that gives us confidence to strengthen our healthy tradition of constructive endeavour.
The Association regularly represents in Pension Adalats of various Departments like Railways, Postal etc. This ADALAT system is of recent concept. The ADALAT hears to our submissions with patience and tries to ameliorate and redress the grievances expeditiously. In fact, we are very much impressed with the functioning of ADALATs. Recently, the Ministry has released guidelines for its further aggressive procedural improvements for better interfacing with Associations like us as well as various NGOs and others.
The Association observed its 13th Biennial Conference (21st February 2012) to mark completion of 26 years of its glorious functioning with documented many milestone achievements. We at the holy sanctuary of the pensioners at AICGPA promise to sustain our relentless and unstinted service to the Members and also to Non Members indiscriminately to restore smile and faith amongst our pensioners’ fraternity.
(the author is reachable digitally at: firstname.lastname@example.org and physically at 1245, 1st Floor, Shri Hanumanji Lane, Mahandi Vihar, Cuttack, with office behind Akshya Mohanty Park, Kanika Square, Cuttack 8. He can be contacted over phone: 9437311135)