The Indian Armed forces are the military forces of the Republic India. Majorly it is been classified namely the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. Apart from these they are supported by Indian Coast Guard, Central Reserve Police forces (CRPF), Border Security Forces (BSF), Special Frontier Force, Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF), Indo Tibetan Border Police, Railway Protection Forces, and National Disaster Response Forces.
We have the world’s third largest military forces and the world’s largest volunteer army with the strength of 1.4 million active personnel working under the management of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the Government of India.
The Indian Armed forces have been engaged in many major military operations, including the Indo-Pakistani war of 1947, 1965 and 1971, the Kargil War, the Siachen Conflicts, and many more.
An Indian soldier is famous for his velour and military genius. He is expected and trained to be a multi-tasker, and often an expert in multiple fields.
Out of the millions of ‘jawans’ Indian armed force has, we doubt there being even a single jawan who will back off from a war just because he fears death. A call from its Mother India and they don’t give a second thought to move on leaving behind their old parents, wife, children, their loved ones without any surety to come back. Life of an Indian soldier is not common, it is way more full of perils, obstacles and is unpredictable. The more important task of a soldier is to guard the nation and they do it efficiently. But they have to maintain both their civil and their military life at the same time; no matter where they are posted. We cannot even imagine being at Siachen for months at an extreme temperature of -20 degrees, or in Rajasthan at 50 degrees, or in water for months, but they do it, they do it to protect our country and its countrymen. Even when facing a bullet they are proud to die for their country and be called a “Shahid”.
They ‘serve’ and sometimes die serving. They believe in unquestioningly obeying the orders of the government and authorities. They are trained to live in harsh terrains without even the basic things like water, proper food and medical facilities. Many times it happens they don’t see their loved ones for months or may be years if the conditions are harsh. Forget about seeing, their families back home sometimes they don’t even know whether the soldier is alive or is dead. Every day for an Indian Soldier’s family is terrifying as they don’t know whether they are going to see their loved one again or not.
Soldiers die every day and no one gives any heed to it. Only talking about them, being sorry for their families, giving medals, etc does not suffice for the numerous and uncountable sacrifices made by them and their families. For civilians like us that uniform is attractive, the lifestyle, personality of an Indian soldier gains our attention. We often think that they get a lot of perks while serving the country, which is not true. Yes their families do get various benefits, concessions, etc. but the mental stress they have is way more than we as common people can even imagine.
To begin with, the salary of an Indian soldier is not enough, it starts from 15,000 approx when he joins armed forces and gradually increases with the increase in its post. This is not sufficient enough for a young soldier to carry out all expenses of his family. He is unable to secure his children’s as well as their family’s future at times. Even though there are many benefits like concessions everywhere from toll taxes to flight/airplane tickets, subsidies on their basic requirements, medical treatment, compensation if the soldiers die on duty, in war or war like engagement specifically notified. Most of the benefits are same at all levels but the difference is in the pension, salary and spending limit.
While presenting the Union Budget for 2017-18 on Feb. 1, 2017, the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, allocated 3,59,854 crore rupees to the Ministry of Defence. Among the defence services, the Indian Army was budgeted highest in defence budget with an amount of 1,49,369 crore rupees, followed by Air Force, Navy, Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Ordnance Factories (OFs).
The combined strength of the three services as per the Indian Defence year Book is around 14 lakh, ex- servicemen constitute nearly 26.5 lakh, military widow and war widow 6.5 lakh and 45.5 thousand respectively.
The government of India in the year 2013 announced OROP i.e. One Rank One Pension to all the veterans and their family. The benefit of OROP is available to war widow too but those who have opted for voluntary retirement, it would not stand applicable. Almost three years later, the promise has still not been fulfilled. The issue is far from being resolved. The number of veterans sitting at the Jantar Mantar for past one year and nine months without break to get their rights is increasing day by day.
It is hard to imagine the state of an Indian soldier’s family post his death. Even though government provide compensation and other benefit to the martyr’s family. But sometimes we as common people are willing to contribute towards the martyr’s family too. With this thought in mind, actor Akshay Kumar has emphasized the importance of supporting families of martyred soldiers. Akshay proposed the idea of a website which connects the family member of a martyr soldier with someone who wants to donate money. He laid his proposal on 24th Jan. 2017 which actually came into existence on 9th April, 2017. The website is named as “Bharat Ke Veer” (www.bharatkeveer.gov.in). It is a government initiated website with which we can directly donate to any of the martyr’s family.
After the death of an Indian soldier on duty the verified account number of any of his close family member is shown on very next day on this website. It also shows the financial status of the soldier’s family. A willing individual can donate an amount of rupees 10 to maximum amount of rupees 15 lakh in a single account. The website will show the amount donated to the martyr’s family until the maximum point of donation and will close automatically once the account reaches the amount of 15 lakh. The website is easy to operate, and the amount that is contributed is send directly to the respective account number without any intermediate. “Bharat Ke Veer” helps to distribute an equal amount of fund to the brave hearts family on need basis. An additional factor of this website is that even the NRIs’ can contribute towards this movement through Internet Banking and International Credit/Debit Card.
I believe more of the CSR initiatives should be brought into existence to help the family member of such brave hearted soldiers who stand day in and day out protecting our country men in the harsh environment and unpredictable situations. Websites and NGOs’ in collaboration with corporates can go a long way in protecting the interests of the war veterans, war widows and family of the martyrs. It is then, that these brave hearts would not fear death, rather they will be proud to die for our country- India.
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