When it comes to the matter of national security and the attitude towards the Defence personnel, Narendra Modi government is doing commendable job. Be it sanctioning of OROP, or supply of bullet proof jackets, or extending the scholarship to wards of battle casualty in the very first meeting of Modi Government 2.0
The National Defence Fund was initiated in the year 1962,but we can clearly make out the difference in dedication of a government towards the welfare of our Defence personnel.
Yesterday, Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has given in principle approval to enhancement of monetary assistance to Next of Kin (NoK) of all categories of Battle Casualty (BC) from existing Rs two lakh to Rs eight lakh.
The amount will be granted under Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (ABCWF).
Earlier, there was a provision of financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh to the Battle casualties which are fatal, 60 per cent & above disability, battle casualties invalided out due to disability and
Rs 1 lakh to disability less than 60 per cent.
It was in addition to liberalised family pension, financial assistance from Army Group Insurance, Army Welfare Fund and ex-gratia amount.
The ABCWF has been set up under Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW), Ministry of Defence after a large number of people offered to provide monetary assistance to the families of battle casualties following an incident in February 2016 at Siachen, wherein 10 soldiers were buried in an avalanche.
The ABCWF was instituted in July 2017 and was implemented retrospectively with effect from April 2016.
This fund is in addition to the various existing schemes for the welfare of NoK and children of battle casualties in form of additional ex gratia.
In addition to the above assistance of 8 lakhs, the family of the martyrs family will be receiving the already existing monetary grant includes ex-gratia for various ranks ranging from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 45 lakh and Army Group Insurance ranging from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 75 lakh.
Rs 60,000 under Death Link Insurance Scheme,
Rs 15,000 under Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA),
Full reimbursement of tuition fees for wards,
Up to 70% concession on railway tickets
Marriage grant for daughters,
Widow remarriage and orphan son’s marriage of battle casualties (fatal) and physical casualties (fatal) are also among the immediate & long-term assistance provided by the Ministry.
Earlier, when he was Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Rajnath Singh had launched ‘Bharat ke Veer fund’ to assist families of paramilitary personnel killed or injured in action.
The fund became hugely popular within a short span of time and received widespread support from all quarters.
When the devastating horror of Pulwama attack stuck the family of CRPF martyrs, through Bharathke Veer, India contributed to help the martyrs family.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi his first decision on assuming office for the second term, had approved changes to the Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme for wards of deceased defence personnel under the National Defence Fund.
This was in line with the Prime Minister’s vision for India’s safety, security and the well-being of those who protect the nation.
PM Modi approved the increase from ₹2,000 to ₹2,500 a month for boys and from ₹2,250 to ₹3,000 a month for girls.
The scheme was widened to cover the wards of State police officials martyred in terror or Naxal attacks.
The scheme is meant to encourage technical and postgraduate education for widows and wards of deceased personnel of the armed forces, the paramilitary forces and the Railway Protection Force.
The National Defence Fund is administered by an executive committee that has the Prime Minister as the chairperson and the Defence, Finance and Home Ministers as members.
Under the scheme, new scholarships are given to 5,500 wards of armed forces personnel, 2,000 wards of paramilitary forces personnel and 150 wards of forces under the Railways Ministry every year.
Annual grant of Rs. 15 lakh from NDF is being released to the SPG Family Welfare Fund to undertake various welfare activities for the benefit of its personnel and their families.
Grants are released annually to the Ministry of Defence for purchase of books and other reading materials for the personal of the three Defence Services (Army, Navy and Air Force) and the Coast Guard.
The Existing scale of grant is Rs.55 lakh for Army, Rs.37 lakh for Air Force, Rs. 32 lakh for Navy and Rs.2.50 lakh for Coast Guard total amounting to Rs.126.50 lakh. Latest grant of Rs.126.50 lakh has been released for financial year 2017-18.
Our defence personnel, lay down their life in the call of duty for our safety and security. The make their supreme sacrifice. It is responsibility of not just the government but also every citizen of the country to provide for the betterment of their family’s condition.
If they can sacrifice their life protecting us, Atleast we can make sure their families after them will have good quality of living.
Dr. Sindhu Prashanth