Massive hike in rewards for gallantry medal winners
By Express News Service | Published: 13th November 2012 11:04 AM |
A campaign to get revised the pathetically low monetary rewards given to gallantry medal winners ended in a thumping victory on Monday with the State Government announcing a massive hike.
With this, Kerala has shed its status as one of the lowest-paying states to become one of the highest-paying ones in the country. As per the new decision, a Param Vir Chakra recipient will receive Rs 25 lakh as a one-time grant.
Earlier, this was given as a one-time grant of just Rs 2.07 lakh and an annuity of Rs 2,200. The revised amounts for the other major gallantry medal winners are as follows (old amount in brackets): Ashok Chakra - Rs 25 lakh (Rs 1.73 lakh); Sarvotham Yudh Seva Medal - Rs 20 lakh (Rs 1,52,500); Maha Vir Chakra - Rs 20 lakh (Rs 1,36,500); Keerthi Chakra - Rs 18 lakh (Rs 1,02,900); Uttham Yudh Seva Medal - Rs 16 lakh (Rs 87,400); Vir Chakra - Rs 12 lakh (Rs 67,000); Shourya Chakra - Rs 8 lakh (Rs 65,000); Yudh Seva Medal - Rs 2 lakh (Rs 41,500); Sena Medal/Nao Sena Medal/Vayu Sena Medal - Rs 2 lakh (Rs 28,500) and Mention in Despatch - Rs 1 lakh (Rs 15,400). Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced the revised rewards at a meeting of the Sainik Board and the Flag Day Fund here.
For years, the state had been paying a pittance to its gallantry medal winners. With complaints pouring in, the State Sainik Welfare Department had issued orders in September revising the reward amounts. Still, the amounts remained abysmally low. After this, Sainik Welfare director K K Govindan Nair had submitted fresh proposals, which the government has now accepted.The State Government has adopted a lenient stand on issues connected with the armed forces, the Chief Minister said.
‘’It has come as a Deepavali gift to the gallantry medal winners,’’ said Capt V M Karikath, a retired soldier who had campaigned hard for the revision. "Till now, Kerala was among the lowest-paying states. This is a welcome decision,’’ he said.
Chief Secretary Jose Cyriac, Lieutenant- General V K Pillai, Major-General K S Venugopal, General Administration secretary K R Jyothilal and Sainik Board secretary Air Commodore Sanjay Sharma were among those present.