79th Rajya Sainik Board Meeting Held
Jammu Tawi, April 24
The Annual Meeting of 79th J&K Rajya Sainik Board followed by 64th meeting of State Managing Committee for Flag Day Fund was held at Raj Bhavan, Jammu, under the Chairmanship of Governor N.N. Vohra.
Governor appreciated the efforts put in by Sainik Welfare Department to further enhance interaction between the ex-Servicemen (ESM)/serving soldiers and the civil population including programmes organized during the Flag Day Celebrations. Governor mentioned that due to their presence in far flung areas, Army should be able to complement efforts of the Sainik Welfare Department in maintaining effective liaison with ESM/Widows. He expressed his deep concern about the status of non-pensioner ESM/Widows and observed that he had recently written to Defence Minister to consider significantly enhancing the quantum of relief to Non- Pensioner Widows below and above 65 years of age, which is presently too meager to meet the cost of living.
Governor suggested that the Sainik Welfare Department should consider organizing Defence Melas to raise funds for the welfare of ex-Servicemen and their families. He called upon the citizens and civil society organizations to donate liberally for the J&K Flag Day Fund, which is used for promoting the welfare of ESM/families of Martyrs. Governor complimented Hqrs Northern Army Command for developing software for the Sainik Welfare Department, to computerize the database of ESMs.
Governor emphasisized that an institutional frame work should be put in place in facilitate re-employment of eligible and qualified ESM for the jobs available in the Central and State Govts and impressed the importance of increasing awareness about the horizontal reservation of 6 % for ex-Servicemen in jobs under the State Government.
Governor observed that all welfare schemes for ESM/their Wards should be regularly revised and updated to address their problems and stressed the need for an effective Grievance Monitoring System to be put in place at the District and State levels to ensure that their problems are solved expeditiously.
The RSB approved grants to the non-pensioner ESM/Widows from the State Flag Day Funds being doubled to Rs 12,000/- pm to help them financially; increasing the grant for Decent Last Rites to Rs 5000/-; for Wards of ESM/Widows figuring in Merit List of 12th, an incentive of Rs 5000/- has been approved and dependent children clearing the Civil Services Exams will get an award of Rs 10,000/-; education grants to children of Martyrs have been enhanced from Rs.1200/- to Rs 3000/- per annum. Earlier, there was no provision for widows to buy four wheelers from CSD, which has now been authorized. The status of a number of other welfare schemes of Centre and State Govt for helping out ESMs and their families in various fields including Daughter Marriage, Education, House Repair, Penury Grants were discussed and decisions taken.
Brig. (Retd.) Harcharan Singh, Secretary, Rajya Sainik Board, made a detailed presentation and provided details of the various measures taken for the welfare of the ex-Servicemen and financial status of the Board.