Rodrigues calls for creating more job avenues for ex-servicemen

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Chandigarh, Mar 19 (UNI) Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Union Territory Administrator, General (Retd.) S F Rodrigues today called for strengthening the institutional mechanism for creating more avenues of employment for ex-servicemen in public and private sectors.

Presiding over the 29th meeting of Punjab Rajya Sainik Board here today, he said that ex-servicemen could play a unique role in building the new resurgent India.

Emphasizing the need for expanding opportunities to utilize their potential, experience and expertise, General Rodrigues said that the ex-servicemen could be instrument of change for the transformation of society.

Advocating the need for forging unity among the different ranks of ex-servicemen, he reiterated that an apex body must be established to ensure their all round welfare. He said that this single platform must act as a facilitator and be responsive to their needs.

He emphasized that Punjab should take the lead in this respect and be a model for other states to emulate.

Sharing his concern for the declining number of people joining the defence forces, General Rodrigues said that there was a need to generate awareness among the people and encourage boys and girls to opt for the challenging assignments.

He said that Punjab has a history of sending brave people to the Armed Forces and they have made sacrifices for the nation. There is a need of reviving that tradition and the ex-servicemen must play a pivotal role in guiding this endeavour.

Lauding the efforts of Punjab Government in enhancing the financial assistance to the war veterans and widows who were above the age of 65 years from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 per month and also increasing the monthly maintenance grants for some other categories of defence personnel, he emphasized the need for launching training programmes for their rehabilitation.

Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, Minister of Cooperation and Defence Services Welfare, while taking part in the discussion said the Punjab Government had set up three training centers to train boys and girls and to encourage them to join defence services.

It was informed that Sainik Sadans were being constructed at Mansa, Moga, Mohali and Nawanshehar and a proposal to establish Ex-servicemen old age home was under active consideration.

It was resolved to institute a responsive mechanism for sorting out the property disputes of serving personnel and ex-servicemen. The meeting decided to enhance the tenure of the Vice President of Zila Sainik Board from three years to four years.

General Rodrigues presented trophies to Mansa, Jalandhar and Gurdaspur districts for their outstanding work in collection of Flag Day Fund for the year 2006-07.

Senior officers from the Punjab Government including Mr A R Talwar, Principal Secretary, Defence Welfare, Mr M P Singh, Secretary to Governor, Brig. I S Gakhal, Director Sainik Welfare attended the meeting.

UNI VKJ VN1922

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