Rally dedicated to ex-servicemen welfare held in Jakhama
3 veer naris, 5 WWII veterans honoured
KOHIMA, OCTOBER 8
In an effort to address welfare issues faced by army veterans of Nagaland and families of ex-servicemen and martyrs, the Rajya Sainik Board Nagaland in collaboration with the Red Shield Division organized a day-long mega ex-servicemen rally at the Zakhama Military Station on Thursday for seven districts of the state.
Governor of Nagaland, PB Acharya who graced the occasion as the guest of honour, paid rich tributes to the ex-servicemen of Nagaland for sacrificing their best years in the service of the country. He stated that it will be a great injustice if their welfare issues are not addressed by the government. He also complimented the organizers of the rally for endeavouring to address the issues pertaining to the welfare of veterans and veer naris (widows of soldier martyrs) and also bringing all the stakeholders under one roof through the event.
The Governor said Nagaland today needs peace so that development can take place in all aspects for the state to progress. He remarked that the present government at the Centre and the state are serious to bring peace to Nagaland, and he underscored the need for the people to inculcate a spirit of vibrancy as peace and progress will not come through stagnancy. Towards this, he called upon the ex-servicemen, with their life-long experiences, to contribute and strengthen the hands of the government towards bringing permanent peace in the state.
Secretary Rajya Sainik Board and Director Sainik Welfare & Resettlement Nagaland, Brig. (Retd) KK Roy Choudhury highlighted that the main aim of the rally was to create awareness about the government schemes and policies meant to improve the welfare of the ex-servicemen and their dependants, and to register their grievances for redressal.
GOC 3 Corps Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat, in his brief address stated that he is proud to be standing amongst a host of ex-servicemen who have sacrificed their youth to the cause of the nation. He said the Indian Army holds its respected position today due to the contributions of the ex-servicemen, whose legacy the present generation is taking forward.
A widow pensioner Zaneisie-ü, in her address, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to put across the grievances of widow pensioners. She said her husband, an ex-serviceman, had passed away three years ago, however, she is yet to get a single payment of pension. She hoped that such anomalies and difficulties faced by others will be redressed at the rally.
GOC 57 Mountain Division (Red Shield Division) Maj. Gen. P N Rao, and IGAR (N) Maj. Gen. MS Jaswal also graced the occasion.
Three veer naris and five World War II veterans present at the rally were honoured on the occasion, while an auditorium at the army cantonment was dedicated to martyr late Capt. Neikezhakuo Kenguruse, MVC (posthumous).
Around 350 ex-servicemen and family members of ex-servicemen from the seven districts of Dimapur, Kohima, Wokha, Peren, Zunheboto, Phek and Kiphire attended the event.
Stalls were put up by the army and state government departments to update the ex-servicemen regarding schemes and policies relating to their welfare while a pensioners’ grievance cell and a medical camp was also part of the rally. `
‘Nagas have contributed much to Indian Army’
The General Officer Commanding 3 Corps, Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat informed that Nagaland, with a total of 3500 ex-servicemen across the 11 districts, have contributed a lot to the Indian army. Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the Ex-Servicemen Rally at the military station, Jakhama, the army official said the dedication, courage and bravery of Naga soldiers were imprinted in the history of the country’s proud army and are noted , which is evident in the raising of 3 Naga battalions. He said Naga soldiers have truly acquitted themselves in battlefields, earning pride and respect from others.
Lt. Gen. Rawat asserted that the rally was attributed to the fearless qualities and sacrifices of the Nagas, to motivate the younger generation to carry on the tradition set by their courageous predecessors. “These are men who sacrificed their heyday for the country….. No army in the world can call itself a proud army unless it honours its ex-servicemen,” he said.
On the centre’s highly controversial scheme “One Rank One Pay” (OROP), he expressed hope that the differences get thrashed out and e scheme will be implemented w
He also highlighted some of the benefits which the veterans and dependents are entitled to, including pensions, vocational training, medicine, recruitment, etc.