Monetary assistance under RMDF doubled: Antony

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New Delhi, Apr 29 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony today said the amount of financial assistance under the Raksha Mantri's Discretionary Fund (RMDF) had been doubled.

Speaking at a function here, he said a large number of new schemes, including old age pension, widow marriage, assistance to orphaned daughters and to Ex-Servicemen with 100 per cent disability, have been introduced.

The Defence Minister said the Government was making efforts to revitalise the Sainik Boards by filling up vacant posts and holding regular board meetings.

He also announced that the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare had rehabilitated 44,000 ex-servicemen, exceeding the target of 40,000 placements in the public and private sector.

Mr Antony assured the ex-servicemen that problems with the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) were being sorted out to benefit a large number of ex-servicemen living in the remote hilly regions.

Addressing the gathering, Minister of State for Defence Dr M M Pallam Raju said efforts were on to explore gainful employment avenues for the ex-servicemen in jobs such as toll plazas, retail, tourist police and forest guards.

He said the diploma courses in Management introduced by the reputed Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) for superannuating officers have been a huge success and the placement has been cent percent.

At the function, the Defence Minister handed over special scooters to 30 disabled soldiers.

The user-friendly scooters, supported by two auxiliary wheels in the rear, were an improvement over the cumbersome motorised tri-cycles. The scooters have been fully funded by the Kendriya Sainik Board.

The modified scooters, a vast improvement over the motorised tri-cycles, were approved during the 10th meeting of the Managing Committee of the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund held on June 8, 2007, under the chairmanship of the Defence Minister.

This replaced the motorised tri-cycle manufactured by the 515 Army Base Workshop, Bangalore. More than 100 motorised tri-cycles manufactured by the base workshop have been distributed to the disabled ex-servicemen since 1990.

UNI AG RL HS1939

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