“I would like to assure each one of you that we will leave no waters uncharted in carrying forward this legacy. Towards that end, the Navy’s efforts have been focused on being a Combat Ready, Credible, Cohesive and Future Proof Force. While pursuing our many operational commitments, Bharatiya Nausena remains specifically committed to ensuring the welfare of our ex-servicemen,” Navy Chief R Hari Kumar said on the occasion of the eighth Armed Forces Veterans’ Day.
Stating that the Navy has been following a multi-pronged approach through proactive outreach, positive interactions and persistent communication to address various issues faced by the veteran community, the Navy chief said, “We are aware that the serving navy is a transit navy while the Veterans’ navy is the permanent navy. As far as I am concerned, transitioning into a veteran after decades of service is without doubt one of the most challenging milestones in the life of a person.”
On the occasion, the Navy chief released the first annual magazine titled ‘Sagar Samvad’, which contains information relevant to veterans.
“I am sure that this magazine would serve not only as a ready reckoner on matters ‘Veteran’s Welfare’, but also strengthen the bond between the serving and retired members of the ‘Naval Family’,” he said.
The Indian Navy chief further informed about the outreach initiatives being taken for the veterans. “Our ongoing outreach initiatives through established mechanisms and fora like the Directorate of Ex-Servicemen Affairs (DESA), Naval Regimental System, Navy Foundation, Veteran Sailors’ Forum, Pension Adalat, etc. have been strengthened and expanded to cover widows and the next kin of martyrs, in addition to retired personnel and their families,” the Navy chief said. “I am glad to inform you that last year we conducted 58 such outreach programmes at various locations, including Leh, Ladakh and the North Eastern States. Towards facilitating better coordination as well as the exchange of best practices, we have institutionalised the interaction between the Navy Foundation and the Veteran Sailors Forum through a common platform called ‘Samanvay’,” he added.
Earlier today, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh led the celebrations of the eighth Armed Forces Veterans’ Day by addressing a Veterans’ Rally at Air Force Station in Kanpur on Sunday. Around 1,000 ex-servicemen attended the event. The Defence Minister interacted with them and expressed heartfelt gratitude to the heroes for their selfless service to the motherland.
Armed Forces Veterans’ Day is celebrated on January 14 every year to recognise the service rendered by the First Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Field Marshal KM Cariappa, who retired on this day in 1953. The day was first celebrated in 2016 and it is commemorated every year since by hosting such interactive events in honour of the ex-servicemen.