30 July :A proposal to constitute a National Commission for the Welfare of Ex-Servicemen is under the active consideration of the government. This was stated by the Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) in the Ministry of Defence, Mrs. Deepa Jain Singh in her inaugural address to the annual conclave of the Directorate General of Resettlement (DGR) here today.
The measure will expedite issues of rehabilitation, welfare and help resolve grievances of retired soldiers, martyrs and their families.Nearly 60,000 personnel retire from the three wings of the armed forces every year and most of them are in the productive middle age group. There are nearly 14 lakh Ex-servicemen and over 2.5 lakh widows. When this figure is projected considering each Ex-Serviceman’s minor children, dependent parents, brothers and sisters, it could affect the livelihood of close to one crore population. In view of the vast population of Ex-Servicemen, the government last year created the post of Secretary in the Defence Ministry to deal exclusively with issues related to the Ex-Servicemen welfare.
Mrs. Deepa Jain Singh, who has undertaken an exhaustive study on the welfare of Ex-Servicemen during her short four month stint as Secretary (ESW), said a capsule on the subject is soon to be introduced at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy, Mussourie. It would sensitize the young IAS probationers of the vital issues of concern related to the Ex-Servicemen Welfare before they assume responsibility of the District Magistrate posts across the country. This is a step towards fulfilling the Prime Minister’s ambitious Skill Development Mission, she added.
Speaking on the occasion, the Additional Secretary Mrs Neelam Nath asked the Secretaries of the District Sainik Boards to hold meetings atleast once every month with the District Collectors to resolve grievances of Ex-Servicemen at the grassroots level. She said the DGR is about to complete a countrywide database of Ex-Servicemen at the Zila Sainik Board, Rajya Sainik Board and Kendriya Sainik Board level that would go a long way in formulating macro and micro policy for Ex-Servicemen Welfare.
The Director-General Resettlement Major General SG Chatterji said his office would serve as a nodal single point interface between the retiring and retired service personnel, widows and their dependents and the outside agencies for all issues related to resettlement and welfare measures.