Patiala, 01 June 2009
PBORs (Personnel Below Officers Rank) in the Defence Forces, while in war, face a much heavy risk than their counter parts among the officer cadre, apart from the alarming stress they suffer during the peace time which is quite evident from the census reports of ex-serviceman under taken by Zila Sainik Boards in the country.
On 26/11 at Mumbai, two Havildars have given their life. They are Hav Gajender Singh, Para, 51 SAG, and Hav Bahadur Singh Bohra, 10 Para (SF). Both were posthumously awarded Ashok Chakra on 26 Jan 2009. Everyone remembers Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan, but very few remember these PBORs. Four PBORs were awarded Kirti Chakras, nine were awarded Shaurya Chakras and 53 Sena Medals (Gallantry) were given to PBORs On 26 Jan 2009.
Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh, has found that the census report up to March, 2006 consolidated by Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB) shows that a total number of war widows registered with KSB is 13594. Out of this, number of war widows of officers cadre is 576 whereas war widows of JCOs (Junior Commissioned Officer) count for 896 and war widows of other ranks (Hav and below) form a big chunk, numbering 12124.
Going by the above facts, it is highly distressing to find that the pension packets of PBORs (Pre-2006) is much below the rational scale. Ex-servicemen up to the rank of Hav (Senior Non-Commissioned Officer) who face the highest risk, have been placed in a minimum pension packet of Rs 3500/- per month along with class IV employees in Pay Band- I where as maximum pension has been fixed at Rs 45,000/- for the person who faces the least risk during the war.
Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh, has asked the Centre Government to look in to this fact and find out a rational solution to this problem prevailing among the PBORs lest the Indian soldiers, who are known for their bravery the world over, may lose the shine. In its earlier communiques submitted to the High Powered Committee formed under the Chairmanship of Defence Secretary (Ex-Serviceman affairs), Shri SM Acharya the league has asked the committee to consider the change of Pay Band for Hav to PB-2 and for Sub Major to PB-3.
At the same time, league has demanded that rate of minimum pension for ex-servicemen (Reservist) be raised to Rs 4,600/- For other ranks league has asked a raised pension of Rs 6,000/ for a Sepoy, Rs 7,000/- for Nk 9,000/- for Hav Rs 10,000/- for Nb Sub Rs 11,000/- for Sub Rs 13,000/- for to Sub Major which will only assuage the heart burning among the PBORs prior to demand of One Rank One Pension, being reviewed by the new government at the centre.
IESL is highly indebted to those few officers and organizations who have lent support to this demand of PBORs and further expects that the remaining big brothers will also think of welfare of their subordinates who stood shoulder to shoulder with them, both in war and peace during service and after retirement. The morale of PBORs are under severe strain. It is high time that the big brothers take up the issue with the Government on top priority.
Sgt Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal (Retd)
President, Indian Ex-Services League,
Punjab & Chandigarh.