Pune – The War Wounded Foundation, a registered charitable Non- Government Organisation (NGO), had organised an impressive Rally for war disabled personnel of all Western states, to include Maharashtra Karnataka, Goa and adjoining areas at the Dhanwantri Auditorium of AFMC Pune on 06 May 2017.
The aim of the Rally was to honour war disabled soldiers and give visibility to the Foundation and its work. Both aims were fully achieved. Nearly 150 war disabled personnel, some in wheel chairs and crutches had participated in the Rally.
In addition to the war disabled personnel coming from different parts of the region, inmates from Artificial Limb Centre (ALC) Pune; Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, and Queen Mary’s Technical Institute, Khadki; were also honored.
The Chief Guest at the Rally was General Bipin Rawat. UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Chief of Army Staff (COAS)and the Guest of Honour was Lt Gen PM Hariz, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, GOC-in-C Southern Comd.
General Rawat and Hariz jointly honored the war disabled personnel present, as also the very seriously injured soldiers of the paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre (PRC) , who were specially brought for the event. They also honored personnel from QMTI and ALC Pune. A special feature was presentation of motorised wheel chair scooters to needy war disabled personnel by the COAS. All disabled personnel were honored with traditional shawls and were also given individual gifts.
During his address, Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi,(Retd.) President War Wounded Foundation and Former Vice Chief of Army Staff, who himself is a war disabled officers of the 1965 India-Pakistan War, sporting an artificial leg for over 51 years, gave an overview of war disabled soldiers and their difficulties and challenges. He also touched upon the on-going work of the Foundation, which is aimed at long-term rehabilitation and financial improvement of all war disabled personnel.
Two other speakers were Commandant Artificial Limb centre, Pune and Brigadier Kahlon of the newly formed Directorate of Indian Army Veterans at Army Headquarters. The former apprised the audience about the artificial limbs now being provided to all disabled personnel, which were manufactured speedily, so that the patients could get back to their vocation/ homes in a short time.
Brigadier Kahlon from Army headquarters briefed the war disabled personnel about the latest policies for the veterans and especially those for the war disabled personnel.
General Bipin Rawat, COAS, while addressing the gathering praised the war Disabled Personnel for their selfless service to the nation, their bravery and fortitude and exhorted each one to continue to achieve skills, so that they acquire the ability to stand on their feet and lead a life of respect and financial independence. He also assured them of all help and support from the Army. He emphasised the special place he has for the brave warriors who have been permanently disabled and that he would endeavor to do everything he can to ameliorate their problems.
The Chief of Army Staff also very graciously presented a cheque for the War Wounded Foundation, as did the Southern Army Commander, Lt Gen Hariz. Both were gratefully accepted by the President of the Foundation.
A medical Camp was also organised for the war disabled personnel over two days, which was well attended and appreciated by the war disabled personnel.
The main event was followed by a Group Photograph with the COAS and the Southern Army Commander; an informal interaction with the war disabled soldiers; and a Bara Khana Lunch, which was attended by a large number of guests.
On the request made President War Wounded Foundation the COAS declared the year 2018 as the ‘Year of War Disabled’. At the end of his speech, he also highlighted the notification of 7 CPC for the Armed Forces and stated that most of the anomalies have been rectified while some would soon be considered. COAS mentioned that the case for NFU is under consideration and the implementation methodology will be worked out by the Armed.