Defence minister Rajnath Singh approves four-fold increase to families of battle casualties
At present, financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh was given to battle casualties in case of death and also to those sustaining 60 per cent and above disability besides to several other categories.
NEW DELHI: Initiating a big welfare move on Saturday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved the proposal to raise the monetary assistance granted to the families and soldiers of Battle Casualties to Rs eight lakh from Rs two lakh. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in its communique said, “Rajnath Singh has given in-principle approval to the enhancement of monetary assistance to Next of Kin (NoK) of all categories of Battle Casualty (BC) from Rs two lakh to Rs eight lakh. The amount will be granted under Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (ABCWF).”
Till now, there was a provision of financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh to the Battle casualties which are fatal, 60 per cent & above disability. Financial Assistance of Rs 1 lakh was given to soldiers with a disability of less than 60 per cent. This monetary assistance comes in addition to liberalised family pension, financial assistance from Army Group Insurance, Army Welfare Fund and ex-gratia amount.
The ABCWF instituted on July 2017 has been set up under Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW), Ministry of Defence after a large number of people offered to provide monetary assistance to the families of battle casualties following an incident in February 2016 at Siachen, where 10 soldiers were buried in an avalanche. It was implemented retrospectively with effect from April 2016.
A Bank Account bearing No. 90552010165915 was opened in the South Block Branch of Syndicate Bank, New Delhi for public to deposit money. The fund was created under the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890. This fund is in addition to the various existing schemes for the welfare of NoK and children of battle casualties in form of additional ex gratia.
In addition to the above assistance, the already existing monetary grant includes ex-gratia (central) for various ranks ranging from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 45 lakh and Army Group Insurance ranging from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 75 lakh.
Rs 60,000 under Death Link Insurance Scheme, DLICS (JCO/ORs); Rs 15,000 under Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA); full reimbursement of tuition fees forwards; up to 70% concession on railway tickets and marriage grant for daughters, widow remarriage and orphan son’s marriage of battle casualties (fatal) and physical casualties (fatal) are also among the immediate and long-term assistance provided by the Ministry.
Earlier, ‘Bharat ke Veer fund’ was launched by Rajnath Singh when he was Minister of Home Affairs. The aim of this fund was to assist families of paramilitary personnel killed or injured in action. The fund became hugely popular within a short span of time and received widespread support from all quarters.