Distt Sainik Welfare officers to hear exservicemen complaints

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Chandigarh, Nov 7 (UNI) In order to streamline the functioning of the Sainik Welfare Department and to redress the grievances of the ex-servicemen and 'sainik' widows, the Punjab Government has designated the District Sainik Welfare officers as the nodal officers.

Disclosing this here today Brig (retd) I S Rakhal, Director Sainik Welfare Department said that although most of the grievances were being addressed during the ongoing Sangat Darshan programmes but still District Sainik Welfare officers would remain available for providing any kind of assistance to the ex-servicemen, their families and widows.

He reiterated that the department was committed to look after the welfare of approximately 7 lakh Defence Services personnel, serving and retired and their families. Among them 1,915 were soldiers decorated for gallantry, 979 war windows and 2,643 wWar jagir beneficiaries.

There are 8,330 veterans of World War I and II drawing old age pension in Punjab. As many as 136 soldiers/dependents drawing Monthly Maintenance Grant.

Brig Rakhal said that in the rehabilitation and resettlement scheme, 8,000 individuals had been trained and most of them placed in suitable government jobs. Every year approximately Rs. 40 lakh were being spent from Punjab Amalgamated Fund for the welfare activities of ex-defence personnel and war widows.

He said that stipends and financial assistance were given to blind persons, medical aid to those suffering from chronic diseases and serving machines to widows and orphan daughters.

Construction of Sainik Rest house at Fatehgarh Sahib was presently underway. Prestigious institutions, such as the Punjab Sainik Bhawan and Defence Service Officers' Institute at Chandigarh and War Museum at Ludhiana have already been completed.

UNI HS JS1743

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