Army to observe 2011 as the ''Year of the Disabled Soldier''

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New Delhi, Jan 15 (PTI) Honouring its troops who wereseverely injured and left disabled in operations, the IndianArmy has decided to observe 2011 as the ''Year of the DisabledSoldier''.

"We have been giving great respect to our martyredsoldiers and the time has come to give due honour to oursoldiers who have been disabled in operations. For this, 2011will be the year of the disabled soldier," Army chief GeneralV K Singh said while addressing the 63rd Army day parade here.

He said a grant of Rs one crore has been sanctioned forthe purpose and in the remaining part of the year, the Armywill focus on providing rehabilitation, training and basicamenities to the disabled soldiers.

Announcing other welfare schemes for the families andpersonnel, Singh said a grant of Rs 25,000 would be providedto widows of soldiers and an additional Rs 400 would be givenevery month for education of their children.

"An additional Rs 20,000 would be given to thewheel-chair bound soldiers," he added.

Commenting on the counter-insurgency operations, theArmy chief said, "Our units have been successful inmaintaining peace and security in both Jammu and Kashmir andthe Northeast."

"We are also providing training to the police forces inthe Northeast to enhance their capability to carry outinternal security duties on their own," he added.

Commending the performance of Indian troops in the UNpeacekeeping missions, Singh said, "today, 1,10000 troops ofthe Indian Army are taking part in the different UN missionsand our efficiency in these operations has been praised."

"I am proud that our soldiers in blue berets (of the UN)are doing a splendid job there. We have the third largestcontingent among troop contributing nations," he added.

On improved ration supply for jawans, he said for troopsdeployed at heights above 12,000 feet, special rations wouldbe provided and an attempt has been made to equate the rationscale of jawans and officers.

The Army had come under severe criticism from the CAGover the supply of rotten rations for troops and the PublicAccounts Committee (PAC) had also called the three Serviceschiefs for clarifying on the issue.

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