Special Correspondent

Special session held in this connection

KOCHI: Sreedhara Menon, 102, and his wife Padmam S. Menon were among over 200 Congress old-timers who turned up for the party's State conference here on Friday.

Contributions recalled

The conference held a special session to honour the old guard and the freedom fighters. Many of them ailing and some using walking aid, they recalled a glorious era when they sacrificed their careers and comforts for the country's freedom and spent months or years behind bars.

Among them was the former KPCC president T.O. Bava who lighted the ceremonial lamp to mark the opening of the meeting.

Tributes paid

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, himself moving with walking aid, paid tributes to their sacrifices.

He cheered them saying that his Government had recommended all the freedom fighters drawing State pension for the Central pension too.

Steps would be taken to raise their DA from 20 to 30 per cent, he said.

Mr. Chandy said that recently the Archaeological Department had put up an exhibition and that in some of the exhibits from the freedom struggle a large number of freedom fighters had figured or been mentioned.

The Government would use these proofs to extend pension to those who had been denied it because of a lack of proof, he said.

Mahatma Gandhi's great grandson Tushar Gandhi pointed out that it was due to the sacrifices of these people that the current generation was enjoying the fruits of freedom.