National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 02 December 2019
Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has urged people of the country to contribute generously to the Armed Forces Flag Day (AFFD) Fund for the welfare of the Ex-Servicemen who have selflessly served the nation. Addressing the AFFD Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Conclave 2019 in New Delhi today, Raksha Mantri spoke extempore exhorting the nation to perform its solemn duty of ensuring welfare of the Ex-Servicemen, differently-abled soldiers and the families of the ones who lost their lives defending the nation.
Quoting his experience of ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ campaign while he was Home Minister, Raksha Mantri expressed confidence that when it comes to national self-respect, people donate generously and it will be no different in the case of AFFD Fund. ‘Bharat ke Veer’ Fund was established with the help of the corporate sector that assisted the families of martyred Central Armed Police Forces personnel. Rajnath Singh informed the gathering that he was satisfied when he left the Ministry of Home Affairs as there was corpus of Rs 300 crore in ‘Bharat ke Veer’ Fund. He asked all concerned to come up with a similar mechanism to help the families of jawans in addition to the AFFD Fund.
Raksha Mantri termed it as a sense of responsibility and pride on the part of the citizens of the country, including industry leaders to provide all-round assistance to veterans and the dependents of the martyred soldiers. He said, there is a great virtue in standing with these families in difficult times.
Rajnath Singh recalled the great sacrifices made by revolutionaries such as Ashfaqulla Khan and Chandrasekhar Azad during freedom struggle. He also spoke about his own efforts to join the Army through Short Services Commission which could not materialise due to family reasons. He said, when someone joins the Armed Forces, it’s not just for a career but also to serve and sacrifice for the country.
The CSR Conclave was a unique initiative of the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence to create awareness about the challenges faced by the Ex-Servicemen and how the corporate sector can play an important part in their resettlement and rehabilitation. The CSR Conclave was a first-of-its-kind event where Corporate and CSR heads were invited.
Raksha Mantri also felicitated representatives of 13 corporates who made major contributions last year for their gracious support to the AFFD Fund. A few participants also made on-the-spot contributions for the welfare of Ex-Servicemen.
Earlier, Secretary, Kendriya Sainik Board Brigadier Mrigendra Kumar gave a presentation on the collections of the AFFD Fund, its utilisation over the years and how the support of private sector has gone a long way in enabling the welfare of the Ex-Servicemen and their dependents. Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) Smt Sanjeevanee Kutty also addressed the audience.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.