Indiff erent bureaucracy, helpless Director frustrate War veterans

Young Bites. Dated: 6/2/2020 10:51:42 AM

Col Dr Virendra K Sahi, VrC War Veterans and ex-servicemen (ESM) of Army Navy and Air force, enjoy a prestigious place in society and were cared for and respected by according priority in the whole country. However those belonging from J&K receive step motherly treatment in J&K as if they were from an alien occupation force. They had great expectations from the Lt Governor after abrogation of Article 370/35A; but with 80 percent status quo of secretariat staff; things are bad to worse with no answerability. The Director from J&K of the NGO War Decorated India, repeatedly elected unopposed for 21 yrs now and Sr Advisor of JKESL Col Dr Virendra K Sahi, VrC interacted with ESM from J&K and based on inputs from disappointed ESM contacted Director, Sainik Welfare Deptt. Through a Press note he apprised that the Director SWD is assisted by 13 Zila Sainik Welfare Officers (ZSWO) including four new ZSWO, not yet appointed since 2018. The appointments were to be made under SRO 71 of 1971, replaced by SRO 75 of Jan 2019. Posts were advertised in Jul, Aug & Sept 2018 for 4 ZSWOs. The vacancies are yet to be filled with all matters pending. As of now, 10 out of 13 ZSWOs will be vacant or soon falling vacant making the organization defunct at the district levels. These include, Kupwara, RS Pura, Reasi, Akhnoor, Baramulla, while Rajouri, Srinagar, Jammu, Poonch, Udhampur are falling vacant in 2020. Director SWD when contacted, speaks of having referred the issue with home Deptt where it rests. There is no accountability, no Advisor to approach. Poor ESM are suffering in the last leg of their dedicated lives like children of lesser Gods. Besides the routine matters of allowances, welfare, education of wards of war widows, scholarship documentation, monitory assistance, pensions or distress help, the major pending issues are non implementation of 6% job reservation for young retired ESM who are rendered jobless at 35-37 years of age and who need a second career to sustain. Other states offer 15 % reservation. The housing Colony at Srinagar has again been denied. The Govt approved self financed Fauji Colony projects of J&K Ex-servicemen League, hanging in fire for over two decades. The annual grant (Annuity) to gallant warriors and War Widows is not revised for 12 long years; which revised bi-annually in other States/UTs. The ESM fraternity has given their best years of life to the nation, suffered injuries or made supreme sacrifices. It is the duty of the government to care for their widows or them when they are old/ handicapped. The Hon’ble Lt Governor is requested to assign SWD to an Advisor so that he can ask for progress of cases and give clear directives for progressing to the ESM welfare matters in a time bound manner.


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