Care of Armed Forces War Widows, Widows, Children, War Wounded/Para/Tetraplegic/Blinded/Infirm/Seriously Sick, Destitute ex-servicemen is a National Responsibility. Their welfare is more important because they rended yeoman service to the Nation, but are retired young with a meragre financial package. We all owe a great deal to them.
The need of the hour for the Government, firstly, is to remind each retired Armed Forces personnel and his family that Government sincerely cares for him/her. Secondly, to do whatever is possible for their welfare and well being and.... in that nothing is too big a deal for a Government in terms of monetary Grants or other incentives when it comes to looking after our ex-servicemen fraternity.
However, things are different on ground. Most of the times and in most of the states, the authorities are insensitive and unconcerned towards the well being of ex-servicemen and and widows. Change of mindset and attitude on the part of the civil administration is what is required today.
But, in our state, Sikkim, howerver, things are different.... I mean for better.... since we know, things are not as brighter in other States as we find here in Sikkim. Well... some may try justifying by saying that there are only few hundreds of ex-servicemen in Sikkim and it is not a big deal if they are better off compared to others. In contrary, it is my opinion that numbers do not matter, but the Heart of the Governance; - 'Compassion'; that matters. And, Compassion.... is natural in our Sikkimese culture. "One of the qualities that separate us a '2-legged animal' from the '4-legged' ones is "Compassion"". It is what makes us stand up tall instead of crawling about on all fours. And standing up tall is what frees our arms to reach out to a fellow being and say, "Let me help you". My friends... People out there at the helm of affairs in the Governance in Sikkim today are fully aware of the problems/needs of our Veterans and their dependents. So, even if the ESM population are less in Sikkim some of the incentives approved and sanctioned by the Government of Sikkim are pathbreaking and worth emulating for other states.
Let me also share my experience with you all... since my joining as Secretary, Rajya Sainik Board since last four and a half years, following major develpoments have taken place:-
"Corpus Fund" has gone up to Rs. 1 Crore plus since Hon'ble Chief Minister instantly sanctioned Rs. 32 lakhs to increase the existing fund of Rs. 68 lakhs. Today it stands at Rs 1.7 Crores.
The Financial Ex - Gratia Grant for Battle Casualty has been increased to Rs. 25 Lakhs.
The Government's resolve to ensure that our young boys and girls get in to Indian Armed Forces as commissioned officers is unflinching. The Goverment sponsored coaching in this regard will continue as per the direction from Hon'ble Chief Minister.
Benefits/Financial Assistance provided by Government of Sikkim
Category of Award
Para Vir Chakra (PVC)
1 Lakh per year
Ashok Chakra (AC)
2 Lakhs per year
Mahavir Chakra (MVC)
70, 000 per year
Vir Chakra (Vr C)
Kirti Chakra (KC)
Saurya Chakra (SC)
Sarvottam Yudh Sewa Medal (SYSM)
Sena/Nao Sena/Vayu Sena Medal (VSM)
Ati Vishist Sewa Medal (AVSM)
Vishist Sewa Medal (VSM)
Param Vishist Sewa Medal (PVSM)
Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
Yudh Sewa Medal
Other benefits and incentives for Ex-servicemen/widows/dependents and War disabled soldiers in Sikkim is as under:
Ex-gratia grants to WW - II Veterans and wdiows (non-pensioners) : Rs. 10,000/- per month.
Old Age Pension: Rs. 600/- per month is being paid to those Ex-servicemen and Widows (non-pensioners) who are below the age of 70 years and Rs. 1000/- per month to those who are above 70 years.
3% Reservation in Group 'C' & 'D' posts vide Sikkim Government Notification No. : 87/Gen/DOP dated : 23rd March, 1988.
Ex-gratia Grant of Rs.25 Lakhs only to all ranks who become Battle Casualty.
The Government of Sikkim has provided Free SNT Bus passes to Ex-servicemen & widows who have attended the age of 60 years and above. This facility came into force with effect from 1st Jan, 1999.
The Ex-servicemen & widows in Sikkim has been permitted to consume 100 Units of electricity free of cost for domestic purposes only.
Cash Incentives/Grants out of Special Fund is as under :
Death Relief Grant of Rs. 5000/- (One time grant) is being paid out of Corpus Fund by Rajya Sainik Board on the demise of Ex-servicemen/widow. The grant is applicable to only those who are in possession of Ex-servicemen identity card.
The medical reimbursement to the tune of Rs. 2,000/- is being made by Rajya Sainik Board on producton of medical bills.
Marriage Grant of Rs. 2000/- for maximum two daughters has been made available by Rajya Sainik Board, Government of Sikkim.
Rs. 1500/- per annum to the students attending school from home.
Rs. 3000/- per annum to the students who are staying in the hostel.
Rs. 3000/- per annum to the students staying as Paying Guest.
The Orphanage Grant of Rs. 500/- per month is paid by Rajya Sainik Board to an orphan child till he/she gets married. The grant is applicable to two children only.
Rs. 900/- is granted to the disabled pensioner for purchase/repair of artificial limb.
Spectacle allowance of Rs. 1500/- (once in two years) is paid by Rajya Sainik Board to Ex-servicemen & widows (Non-pensioner) on production of bills.
Financial Assistance (FA) @ Rs. 2000/- is paid to the Ex-servicemen/widows/dependents who are found to be in dire need of financial support on need basis after due verification.
Referral Grant of Rs. 10,000/- is given to the Ex-servicemen when referred outside Sikkim for medical treatment.
It is submitted that there is only one War Disabled Soldier who sustained 80% disability during "OP Rakshak" in J & K. Ex-gratia grant of Rs. 2 Lakhs has been awarded to the Officer by the Government of Sikkim. The particulars of the Officer is as under :
Regimental No, Rank & Name : - SC-00467L, Maj Durga Chettri