The 11th Anniversary and 12th Foundation Day of All India BSNL DOT Pensioners Association (AIBDPA) falls on 21st October 2020. The mighty organisation of the BSNL DOT Pensioners was formed on 21st October 2009 in a largely attended All India Convention of the BSNL and DOT Pensioners at New Delhi. BSNL Employees Union, the recognised union of the BSNL employees, took initiative in holding the convention. Veteran leaders Comrades A.K.Bhattacharjee, P.V.Chandrasekharan and J.N.Mishra presided.  Com.M.K.Pandhe, one of the tallest leaders of the world trade union movement and President, CITU inaugurated the convention. The main speaker was Com.S K Vyas, Secretary General, NCCPA. Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, then General Secretary, BSNLEU, presented the back ground paper for the convention. After thorough discussion by the delegates, resolution forming AIBDPA was unanimously adopted in an enthusiastic atmosphere. Thus the AIBDPA was formed which was committed to safeguard the interests of the BSNL as well as DOT Pensioners.The resolution adopted on policy and programme highlighted the importance of supporting the struggles of the BSNL employees and the workers at large called by the Central Trade Unions. It was also declared that AIBDPA, unlike from other pensioners organisations, is committed to organise struggles for the settlement of the genuine issues of the pensioners.  A well-knit team of office-bearers with Comrades V.A.N.Namboodiri (Advisor), P.V.Chandrasekharan (Patron), A.K.Bhattacharjee (President), K.G.Jayaraj (General Secretary) and M.L.Tiwari (Treasurer) was elected to lead the organisation.

Within months, circle and district unions were formed all over the country. The Association started functioning in right earnest. All the issues of the BSNL DOT Pensioners were taken with the government. Pension Revision w.e.f. 01-01-2007, 78.2% IDA fixation, Scrapping of 60:40 condition, Medical issues, Quarters to BSNL and DoT retirees, Broadband concession to BSNL retirees etc. were taken and numerous struggles were launched for favourable settlement. It is pertinent to mention here that the struggles of BSNLEU and Joint Forum/AUAB was crucial in the settlement of important issues. In addition, many individual cases were also taken up and most of these were settled favourably.

AIBDPA has always functioned in co-ordination with BSNLEU, the biggest organisation of the BSNL employees and Joint Forum/ AUAB and gave full support and solidarity to the struggle of the employees. It is an affiliate of the National Co-ordination Committee of Pensioners Association (NCCPA), which is the umbrella organisation of the pensioners all over the country. It is also an affiliate of the Trade Union International (Pensioners and Retirees) (WFTU) and participated in its formation Congress as well as subsequent Congress last year. Com. K.G.Jayaraj, GS, AIBDPA is an Executive Board Member of TUI(P and R).

AIBDPA activities are not only limited to the pensioners’ issues. It has taken keen interest in the problems of the senior citizens and connected matters. It collected donation from its   members and supported the struggles of the BSNL Casual and Contract Workers. Whenever natural calamities hit the country,  donations were collected and sent to the  Prime Minister’s Relief Fund / Chief Minister’s Relief Fund etc. in a good way. AIBDPA leaders and members are very active in social activities.

After its formation Conference, three All India Conferences have been held at Kannur, Tirupati and Kolkata respectively with massive participation and taken important decisions including agitational programmes. On the issue of Pension revision w.e.f. 01-01-2017, the office bearers at the Circle/ district level met about 200 Members of Parliament  and submitted memorandums requesting the matter to be taken up with the government. Some of them raised the issue in the Parliament.

We have many important problems to be settled including Pension Revision, Medical reimbursement, special problems of the VRS Pensioners etc. These problems have arisen mainly due to the negative anti-pensioner policy of the Central government as also violation of the assurances given at the time of the formation of BSNL. United Struggle is the way to settle these issues.

Our mighty and beloved organization, All India BSNL DOT Pensioners Association, is completing 11 years and the 12th Foundation Day on 21-10-2020 deserves to be celebrated in a befitting manner. Let us celebrate it with hoisting the AIBDPA flag, holding General Body meetings, distributing sweets, distributing food/clothes to the needy etc. In the meeting, the mounting attacks by the present Modi government against the farmers, workers, pensioners and the people at large even under the cover of Covid-19 pandemic, the achievements and the onward march of AIBDPA through the path of struggles, cordial relationship with the serving employees organizations and joining their struggles, our affiliation with NCCPA, the umbrella organization of pensioners organizations in India and TUI(P&R), the international pensioners organization and constituent of WFTU and the tasks ahead for pension revision and payment of medical benefits, revival of BSNL etc.are to be explained.