Kolhapur – An Ex-Servicemen Rally was organised by 109 Infantry Battalian (TA) MARATHA LI, Kolhapur on 31 October 2018. General Bipin Rawat, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Chief of Army Staff was the Chief Guest for the Rally. The rally was attended by approximately 4000 Ex-Servicemen. A large number of Military and civil dignitaries attended the event which included Lieutenant General PJS Pannu, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (DOT) and Colonel of the MARATHA Light Infantry, Shrimant Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaja of Kolhapur, Brigadier Sanjeev Tiwari, Commander, Territorial Army Group Headquarters, Southern Command, Pune, Shri Avinash Subhedar, Indian Administrative Service (IAS), District Collector of Kolhapur, who is the head of Ex-Servicemen of the district and Shri Vishwas Nangare Patil, Indian Police Service (IPS), Inspector General, Kolhapur division. The rally was also attended by Shrimant Sambjajiraje Yuvrajkumar of Kolhapur, Rajya Sabha Member, Mr Dhananjay Mahadik, Rajya Sabha Member and Mr Satej Alias Bunty D Patil, Member of Legislative Committee.
The focus of the rally was to resolve various problems faced by the Ex-Servicemen, Veer Naris and “War disabled” veterans. The event was held in close coordination with district Zila Sainik Board and Civil Administration. Various stalls from different Record Offices were established for resolving pension anomalies. The Army also established stalls for Canteen Stores Department (CSD) Smart Card, Army Welfare Education Society (AWES), Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) and Army Placement Node (APN) to provide Job Placement Cell.
Nationalised Banks such as SBI, Bank of Maharashtra, ICICI etc established stalls to disseminate information on various financial schemes offered to veterans and Veer Naris. In addition, special Medical Camp was organised for the veterans on 31 October 2018. The civil administration also contributed by establishing stalls from Small Scale Industries Department, Agricultural Department, Aadhar Card Registration and Natural Energy. The district police was forthcoming to set up a Police Sahayata Cell at the venue to obviate legal issues faced by the Ex-servicemen and Veer Naris.
The rally was a major step forward in reaching out to Ex-Servicemen and Veer Naris apart from ameliorating the day to day problems faced by them. It provided an excellent platform to the participants to express and register their grievances to the concerned officials. The Chief of Army Staff presented a modified Scooter to a handicapped veteran and further honoured 20 x Veer Naris and felicitated them. The rally turned out to be a huge success and fostered the spirit of camaraderie in the Indian Army.