PENSIONERS’ MESSIAH DEVASUNDARAM IS NO MORE
Beacon Light of Pensioners movement and Centenarian Sri V.S. Devasundaram passed away in the early morning of 10th December 2013. He was 104 and survived by 4 sons, 4 da The ughters and a horde of 60+ grand and great-grand children.
He was founder Organizing Secretary of the All India Federation of Pensioners’ Association which initially functioned from his residence. He was also one of the visionaries who felt the need for an exclusive journal on pensioners needs and services and helped in bringing out the handy journal “Pensioners” Advocate”. He then rose to be it President too. His untiring efforts and bargaining tactics fetched us the entitlement of Dearness Relief. Commencing his service as a staunch Trade Union leader working with doyens like T.V. Anandan, V.V. Giri, S. Guruswamy, K. Anandan Nambiar, M. Kalyanasundaram, and other veterans, he dedicated his entire service to the cause of Railway employees and after retirement to the cause of pensioners. Though small in stature, his ability and competence was so immense and immeasurable he was admired by none other than Periar E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker who sought for an appointment with him through the late C.N. Annadurai, later on Chief Minister of Tamilnadu and the testimony was a report published in the News Paper “Revolt” of those days. He retired as Chargeman in the Carriage Works of Southern Railway at the age of 55 with a meager pension of ` 40. He was awarded the Life Time Achievement Award by the PROBUS CLUB of Chennai and the Gururswamy Forum presented and honoured him with a Purse. Admiring his exemplary lead of the pensioners’ movement the Central Railway Pensioners Associations called him very rightly as “Pensioners Messiah”.
His slogan was “My pay should be my pension and my pension should be my wife’s family pension” which he achieved, though not as envisaged, on his attaining the age of 100 when his pension doubled. His era ends but his legacy will continue. We pray that his soul be at peace.