City-based VeKare Ex-Servicemen Trust (VKET) has urged Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to take immediate steps to ensure disability pension and other facilities under Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) to Gentlemen Officer Cadets invalidated and sent home due to injuries suffered during military training at National Defence Academy, Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Air Force Academy and Naval Academy.
VKET President Mandetira N. Subramani, in a letter dated Dec. 1, 2021, has sought that the Officer Cadets should be granted a minimum pension on par with ex-recruits (who do not belong to the rank of officers) after they are invalidated / medically boarded out due to injuries suffered during training. He stated that even ex-recruits were not covered under the definition of ex-servicemen and hence they were not eligible for medical care under ECHS and CSD canteen facilities until their organisation VKET took up the cudgels on behalf of ex-recruits way back in the year 1990.
Taking serious exception to the shabby treatment meted out to Officer Cadets, who suffer injuries during hazardous and tough training, Subramani cited the cases of two ex-recruits (Army No. 2783481, Ex-Recruit P.P. Poonacha, trainee under Maratha Light Infantry, who is from Bhagamandala in Kodagu and Army No. 2604765-H, Ex-Recruit Hanumantharayappa, trainee under Madras Regiment who is from Ashokapuram in Mysuru) that were represented to Army authorities in 1990 and 2005 respectively.
After pro-longed correspondences and communication, the policy concerning the definition of ex-servicemen was amended to include ex-recruits who were invalidated with service / disability pension due to injuries suffered during training under the definition of Ex-servicemen. Subsequently, such ex-recruits were made eligible for all facilities and benefits such as cashless medical care under ECHS and CSD facilities, he said.
“If no justice is done to ‘Gentlemen Officer Cadets’ who are medically boarded out and sent home due to injuries sustained while undergoing military training, the youths of our country would think twice before taking up careers in the Armed forces,” Subramani stated in his letter to the Defence Minister. Subramani himself is a Veteran Sergeant of IAF and Hon. Advisor of Kodagu Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association, Mysore East.
Courtesy: Star of Mysore