AN APPROACH PAPER
SEMINAR OF ESM ORGANISATIONS
( Col (Retd) TN Raman)
1. I thank all the Veterans who have responded to my appeal for a Seminar of all ESM Organisations. At the outset, I wish to clarify that there was & is, no intention of floating any New ESM Organisation in the form of a Federation. The concept of Federational approach to be adopted by the existing ESM Organisations is the most important factor to be considered. This concept will help the ESM Organisations, which are working for the same cause with divergent views & methods, to harness their strength in Unity, focus the attention at National level to the real problems of the ESM as a community & act in unison to achieve our goals.
2. The idea is not to break up any Organisation to form a new one. Instead to allow each Organisation to flourish on its own slated path, bring about the cohesion that is required to build up a National level challenge to the arbitrary decisions of the Govt in power.
3. How to achieve this objective is what to be discussed in the Seminar. Such an ideal situation cannot be wished for, unless the major ESM Organisations come together & debate.
Points for Discussion in the Seminar
4. The proposed points for discussion in the Seminar are given below.
a. Projection of our demand of OROP. This was the main issue which dominated the entire struggle of IESM over the last year, which led to various forms of protests including the Return of Medals. Though it could galvanize the emotions, sympathy & the spirit of the ESM as a whole & projected a nascent IESM to lime light, it could not muster the numbers required to dominate the proceedings. With the result, some of the leading ESM Organisations could not see eye to eye with the concept of OROP as envisaged by IESM. The result was the OTI or PIP concept the Govt managed to push through. Since the time for post mortem is over, what should be our future strategy? Are we capable of achieving this by the present form of dissipated protests by individual Organisations & a few interviews in the Electronic Media? Or is there a requirement of synergising our efforts into a single forum, however loosely knit & by whatever name we may call it?
b. ESM Welfare. The present ESM Welfare set up, both at the Centre & States level are well known to all of us. We are also aware of the enormous funds that are available for this activity. We are also aware that all ESM Committees floated by the Centre or the States are dominated by non ESM members. What should be our Road Map for the future ESM Welfare Management?
c. ECHS. The subject of medical facilities to the ESM & their dependents, or the lack of it is the predominant issue today. Various Seminars & Interactive Sessions are being held Nation wide. But the benefits have not trickled down to the Rural Areas. How to revamp the system?
d. Second Career for the Veterans. We have discussed various probable avenues for the assured employment of Veterans till the age of 60 years. But no concrete proposal, which is implementable, has emerged so far. Can we jointly submit a paper to the Govt on this issue?
5. The above mentioned points are only a few that require detailed discussion & decision taken. There may be some more points which require urgent resolution. It is unfortunate that the enormous potential of the ESM Community in Nation Building & other constructive tasks has not come to light so far. All this can be achieved only by us all joining our hands together. Not necessarily in the literal sense. But, emotionally & morally.
6. I am not the first one to moot the idea of a Seminar. Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi, Maj Gen RN Radhakrisnan, Maj Gen Inderjit Kashyap & a few others had already found the necessity of the same. I am trying to give a shape to their thoughts.
7. You comments, views & suggestions would be of great help to me.
The mail below was addressed only to the Core Group, IESM, some three weeks back.