Welfare of Ex-Servicemen and Their Resettlement

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1. Introduction

Having given the best years of their lives to the country, it becomes a national obligation to resettle and rehabilitate the ex-servicemen.

An ex-serviceman is a person who has served in any rank, whether as a combatant or as non-combatant, in the Armed Forces of the Union of India, including the Armed forces of former Indian States, but excluding the Assam Rifles, Defence Security Corps, General Reserve Engineer­ing Force, Lok Sahayak Sena and Territorial Army, for a continuous period of not less than 6 months after attes­tation and has been released, otherwise than by way of dismissal or discharge on account of misconduct or inef­ficiency or has been transferred to the reserve pending such release or has to serve for not more than 6 months for completing the period of service requisite for becoming entitled to be released or transferred to the reserve.

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2. Administrative Responsibility and Organisation

The Central and states/UTs are jointly responsible for the resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen. The Kendriya Sainik Board, whose designation was introduced in 1951 for the earlier organization i.e. the District Soldiers’ Sailors’ and Airmen’s Board, is the apex body at the Central Government level.

At the state level, the subject of resettlement and welfare of ex-servicemen is allocated to one of the ministers in the state governments and Secretary of the Department concerned oversees the work of the Rajya Sainik Board.

The welfare funds administered by the Kendriya Sainik Board are: Flag Day Fund, Armed Forces Benevolent Fund, Armed Forces Reconstruction Fund, Special Fund for Re­construction and Rehabilitation of Ex-servicemen, War Bereaved and Disabled Servicemen Special Relief Fund, India Solders’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Board Fund, Services Welfare Fund and Indian Gorkha Ex-Servicemen Welfare Fund.

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3. Necessity of Resettlement Assistance

The releases from Armed Forces create a reservoir of trained manpower which can profitably be made use of in various skills; are a national asset and should be utilized as such. They should be merged in the mainstream of national life so that they continue to contribute their skills for national advantage. It is felt that any delay in resettling them will only cause dissatisfaction and frustration amongst them.

Resettlement on Land

The bulk of our Jawans come from rural areas with agricultural backgrounds. Resettlement on land, however, on a major scale is no longer feasible as land is increasingly becoming scarce. Effort is, however, made to persuade state governments to accord high priority to ex-servicemen for the allocation of surplus land.

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Self-Employment

A large number of ex-servicemen have found avenues of self-employment by securing agencies of public sector undertakings in tea, fertilizers, cement, steel, salt, machine- tools, cloth, bakery products, petroleum items, photo-ma­terial, papers, transportation of scooters, milk-booths, elec­tronic goods etc.

In the field of transport, ex-servicemen are helped through provision of tractors, discarded vehicles, and bus, taxi and truck routes including allocation of national permits for transportation of goods. For those interested in starting small scale units, consultancy services are provided in preparing project reports. Assistance is given in securing finances from banks and in marketing of products.

Dissemination of Information

ADVERTISEMENTS:

Dissemination of information in regard to benefits and concessions available to ex-servicemen and their families is of paramount importance. Apart from projection of resettlement and welfare activities pertaining to ex-service- men through different media of publicity, the Directorate General Resettlement, Ministry of Defense, has brought out a comprehensive guide to Resettlement of Ex-servicemen both in English and Hindi.

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