Sunday, January 23, 2022

Armed Forces Flag Day 2021: Ensuring well-being of our defence personnels

The entire nation is commemorating the ‘Armed Forces Flag Day’ today, to honour the defence personnels who laid down their lives to protect the motherland.

Every year on December 7, the day gives us an opportunity to make voluntary contributions to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF). The fund is utilised as a national obligation to look after ex-servicemen, war widows, disabled soldiers and the next of kin of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to safeguard India.

On the occasion of Armed Forces Flag Day, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the nation to celebrate this entire month as ‘Pride Month’ & contribute generously to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund.

“I salute the valour and sacrifice of the Indian Armed Forces. I appeal to all the countrymen to celebrate this entire month as ‘Pride Month’ & contribute generously to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund,” the Defence Minister said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also acknowledged the exemplary contributions of the armed forces and said, “Their perseverance and courage are outstanding. I would also urge you all to contribute towards our forces’ welfare.”

The genesis of ‘Armed Forces Flag Day’

After Independence, the government, based on the recommendation of a committee, noted the need to take care of the welfare of defence personnel and on August 28, 1949, December 7 was proclaimed as Armed Forces Flag Day.

The idea behind the commemoration of Flag Day was to collect funds from the citizens of the nation through the distribution of small flags in return for donations for the welfare of our defence personnel.

In 1993, the Defence Ministry set up ‘Armed Forces Flag Day Fund’ by consolidating the Flag Day Fund, further comprising the Special Fund for War Bereaved, War Disabled and other ex-Servicemen/Serving Personnel, Indian Gorkha Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare Fund and St Dunstan’s (India) and Kendriya Sainik Board Fund.

The fund has been primarily utilized for the rehabilitation and welfare of the kin of that defence personnel who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty or became disabled, non-pensioners, widows and orphaned children.

Thus, it provides the financial aid for their identified requirements under a plethora of schemes such as penury grant, disabled children grant, widow/daughter marriage grant, house repair grant, funeral grant, medical grant, education grant, orphan grant among others .

Welfare schemes funds for Armed Forces

1) Penury Grant

Under Penury Grant, small measures of financial relief is provided to non-pensioner Ex-Serviceman (ESM) in penury or his widow.

2) Education Grant

Under the Education Grant, financial assistance for postgraduate degrees is provided, for children dependent on ESM up to the ranks of Havaldar.

3) Widow/ Daughter Marriage Grant

Under Widow/Daughter Marriage Grant, financial assistance is provided for widow remarriage and for the marriage of daughters of the ESM. ( One time time grant of Rs 50,000 )

4) Disabled Child Grant

Under Disabled Child Grant, small measure of relief is provided to 100% disabled children of ESM.

5) Medical Grant

Under Medical Grant, financial assistance is provided to Non-pensioners ESM for the medical treatment

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