It is that time of the year when we commemorate the valour of our soldiers who fought the Kargil war. But even as we remember our soldiers, what about those families who lost a son, husband, brother or father for every soldier that we lost in the war?
Reaching out to families
Subhashini Vasanth, wife of Col. V. Vasanth who sacrificed his life in a counter-terrorist operation in 2007, started an organisation in his memory — Vasanthrathna Foundation for Art. She reaches out to the families of the martyred armed forces personnel through her foundation to create a support system for them. She says that creation of her foundation was necessitated by the lack of support from the State government to the families of the martyrs. “We do receive initial support from the Army which cushions the impact for us to a certain extent, but little or no support is extended by the State government,” she said.
Ms. Vasanth urged the State government to come out with a “standard operating procedure” for extending support to the martyrs’ families, who are “at present left to fend for themselves”. She added that families not only have to come to terms with their loss of a loved one but the sheer uncertainty that awaits them, especially on the financial front. “Often, a widow will have to file tonnes of documents, make numerous visits to the office and plead to the officials before she can even face the possibility of receiving what is her right,” she said.
Her organisation aims to organise family counselling sessions as well as provide legal support for the martyrs’ families. The foundation also aims to provide medical and financial assistance for 80 veteran war widows in Karnataka who have not received any government support till date.