Monday, July 27, 2009

Do not disown your own by Navdeep

Monday, July 27, 2009

Do not disown your own

There is an increasing tendency amongst us to disregard and disrespect our past and present comrades, and I do not have to amplify this further since most of us would understand what I am pointing at. Let us make it a point to help out our officers, soldiers and their families, past and present in whatever little way we can, let us not treat petty inconsequential requests as liabilities. Before pointing fingers at outside agencies, let us first look within. We should go all out to provide all assistance that we can and get out of this I, me, myself mode.

Which brings me to one point. We all are aware that the govt has been trying hard to attract and retain talent in the services. One such move has been to promote the concept of Short Service Commission and arm released SSCOs with a good corporate career after their stint with the services. As has been discussed earlier on this blog, the central govt through a Presidential sanction had removed the pre-condition of being a ‘pensioner’ to avail limited medical facilities in military medical establishments and had ordained that all personnel granted the status of ex-servicemen would be entitled to such medical facilities. Still, in blatant contravention of govt orders and missives by the Army HQ, non-pensioner ex-servicemen were denied their rightful dues ostensibly now since the matter had attained the proportions of a ‘prestige issue’ for a limited few. Even today these limited few are treating the matter of medical care to our old veterans very lightly. In a welcome move, the Punjab Sainik Welfare Directorate has now written to all concerned highlighting how this attitude is leading to failure of GoI medical schemes which were specially designed for non-pensioners. For a non-pensioner (non-ECHS member) ex-serviceperson to avail medical re-imbursement from the central govt under GoI schemes, a certificate is to be issued by an MH that the facility is not available in that particular hospital, hence when in the first instance there is reluctance in even accepting non-pensioner ex-servicemen at MHs, the second step of issuance of such a certificate never materialises. And who are these non-pensioners ex-servicemen readers may ask. Well, the definition has been altered from time to time but this category includes our ECOs who are in their late 60s to late 70s and World War II veterans in their 80s to 100s who were released due to reduction in establishment, besides SSCOs who are not re-employed. To disown them at this stage by blatantly ignoring GoI and Army Orders for medical facilities is not only illegal but also unethical.

While the office of the DGAFMS makes out a claim for DACP with the Army HQ and the Govt of India, it should first clean up its own house and ensure that already existing govt sanction letters are not consigned to files and bins in M-Block.
Posted by Navdeep / Maj Navdeep Singh at 7:37 AM 0 comments

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