Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has appealed to the corporate sector to contribute generously to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF) and ensure the well-being of the brave soldiers who spend their lives safeguarding the sovereignty and integrity of the country. He was addressing the corporate heads during the AFFDF Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Conclave organised by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence in New Delhi on November 29, 2023.
Expressing gratitude to the retired and serving Armed Forces personnel for their unmatched valour & sacrifice, Shri Rajnath Singh asserted that it is the collective responsibility of the entire nation to ensure the welfare of the soldiers and their families. He stated that the soldiers fulfill their duties in difficult circumstances and deal with challenges with courage and promptness.
The Raksha Mantri described the heads of businesses, industries and the corporate sector as wealth creators who contribute to the economy and ensure prosperity & security of the nation. He urged the corporate sector to share the created wealth or profit with other people in the society, especially the Armed Forces personnel, beyond their tax paying obligations. He emphasised that voluntary contributions hold more importance than compulsory obligations. “When the tax money reaches the soldiers, it is like a legal obligation. But, it is not the same with voluntary contributions. A soldier will feel attached to even Rs 5 given as voluntary contribution more than Rs 100 given as tax,” he said.
On the occasion, Shri Rajnath Singh also felicitated the prominent CSR contributors to the AFFDF, including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank Limited, Indus Towers Limited, General Insurance Corporation, BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited, ECGC Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited , LIC Golden Jubilee Foundation, Container Corporation of India Limited and Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Limited.
Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) Shri Vijoy Kumar Singh, other senior officials of Ministry of Defence and serving & retired Armed Forces personnel attended the conclave.
A number of initiatives have been taken by the Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, for the welfare of the ex-servicemen. Recently, Medical Treatment Grant for the veterans/dependents was increased to Rs 50,000 from Rs 30,000, Vocational Training Grant for Widows was enhanced to Rs 50,000 from Rs 20,000 and Serious Diseases Grant was raised to Rs 1.50 lakh from 1.25 lakh, which is a continuous process.
During the Financial Year 2022-23, a grant of approximately Rs 250 crore was distributed to more than 99,000 beneficiaries. Apart from this, institutional grants have also been given to Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Kirkee and Mohali, Cheshire Home, Dehradun, Lucknow and Delhi and 36 War Memorial Hostels across the country.