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New Delhi: Well-being of soldiers, who ensure national security, should not just be the government’s responsibility, but should be the duty of all, said defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday.

Addressing the Armed Forces Flag Day CSR Conclave, the minister said that it is a collective responsibility of the nation to help the soldiers and their families.

“Since independence, whether it was to win wars or counter terrorist activities from across the border, our soldiers have given a befitting reply to every challenge with courage and promptness. In the process, many of them made sacrifices, while many became physically disabled. The entire responsibility of their family rests on them. As a result, it is our responsibility to come forward and support the soldiers and their families in every way possible. It is because of them that we sleep peacefully and live our lives without fear," Singh added.

He said that a large number of military personnel retire at the age of 35 to 40 years to maintain the youthful profile of the Armed forces. “This is another reason for people to extend all possible help to the ex-servicemen and their dependents."

The minister added that the government has multiple initiatives for the welfare of the country’s bravehearts. “Industries and businesses can never flourish in a country where national security is not strong. I appreciate the support of big corporate donors in the last few years. It has led to a substantial increase in the fund. The fraternity should contribute even more for the well-being of the soldiers and the nation at large."

Singh said that the government recognized the power of the private sector and its role in the progress of the country. “The defence sector which was always considered untouched for the private companies, is now fully prepared to welcome them. The private sector should provide employment opportunities to about 60,000 soldiers who retire at a very young age every year. These disciplined ex-servicemen are capable of understanding the most complex technology and using it proficiently. The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare carries out the task of ensuring employment for the veterans and the industry can make a special contribution in this direction."

“The Government does not consider the ex-servicemen as a liability. We see them as valuable assets, who are not only disciplined and an inspiration to society, but also equally effective as a workforce. By including them, the private companies can increase their productivity and help these ex-servicemen lead a dignified life," he added.

On the occasion, the minister launched a new website for the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund. The portal is an interactive and user-friendly portal developed to promote online contribution to the fund.

Singh also released the anthem for this year’s promotional campaign for the Armed Forces Flag Day. He felicitated the prominent CSR contributors to the Fund including Indian Oil Company Limited, Mother Dairy, State Bank of India, ICICI Foundation, LIC Golden Jubilee Foundation and LIC Housing Finance Limited.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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