THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a shocker to ex-service personnel and dependents of service personnel in the state, the Kendriya Sainik Board has returned thousands of applications submitted by them for various grants, reportedly on the grounds that criteria were not met.
These applications had been submitted through the Sainik Welfare Department of the state government over the past two years. According to department officials, they have so far got back around 4,000 applications, but more are expected in the coming days.
“The board is insisting on having accounts in either State Bank of India (SBI) or Punjab National Bank (PNB). It also requires the IFS code, Aadhaar number, mobile number and e-mail ID. A large number of the applicants do not have SBI and PNB accounts, or an Aadhaar number. Here, we are talking about people who are in their 60s and 70s or even older,” Capt (Retd) K K Govindan Nair, director, Sainik Welfare Department, said.
Applications for grants under as many as 10 heads have been returned. They include the penury grant, education grant, disabled children’s and orphans’ grants, which carry Rs 1,000 per month each, the one-time grant of Rs 20,000 for repairing house, grant for daughter’s marriage, which carry Rs 16,000, medical assistance upto Rs 30,000 and a one-time grant of Rs 20,000 for the vocational training of widows.
According to the department, Kerala is not alone in this mess. Though the centre is aware of the issue, no solution - simplifying the criteria - has been announced.
As far as Kerala is concerned, this is an issue which affects several thousands of ex-service personnel, widows and family members of soldiers slain in the line of duty.
Over the past few weeks, the department has started re-submitting the applications, but the process is a time-consuming one..