Give jobs to Defence personnel post-retirement, corporate houses told

The first-ever Army Mela held here concluded on Sunday to a packed gallery with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah promising full cooperation to the ex-servicemen towards their reemployment and rehabilitation.

He also urged corporate houses to tap the discipline and work culture imbibed by the Defence personnel and provide them with job opportunities after their retirement.

The objective of the mela was to enable the public to “Know Your Army” and motivate the youth to take up challenging careers in the Defence sector.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said the government was striving to meet the expectations of retired soldiers and ‘veera naaris’ or war widows.

“I reassure you that the welfare of ex-servicemen and their family members will receive top priority,” he said and pointed out that the State government had reserved 10 per cent jobs for ex-servicemen and 10 per cent for sites allotted by the government.

Besides, the government has extended 50 per cent rebate on property tax for ex-servicemen settled in the State, he said.

The Chief Minister said land had been allotted for establishing polyclinic under the Ex-servicemen Compensatory Health Scheme (ECHS) in Mysore.

The State was indebted to those serving the country and their surviving family members for the supreme sacrifice they have made towards the nation.

More number of youth should take up a career in the Defence forces, the Chief Minister said.

On the occasion, ‘veera naris’ were presented with a memento.

Earlier, Lt. Gen. V.K. Pillai, General Officer Commanding Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, said the armed forces reflected the best of the character and strength of the society from which it drew its resources and was hence called “your army”.

He pointed out that the country’s freedom was preserved because of the sacrifices of the soldiers.

The average age of a jawan during retirement is between 35 and 37 years when he is in the prime of his youth and has family responsibilities.

Hence it is the society’s responsibility to rehabilitate them after retirement, he added.

Equestrian events

The core of the live display was a series of equestrian events such as tent pegging by the Army personnel which was cheered by thousands of people.

This was followed by jump show, Kalaripayattu, Malkhamb, apart from a display of spectacular acts by members of the Tornadoes, the motor cycle team of the armed forces, slithering operation among others. The “Know Your Army” exhibition featured weapons, signal and telecommunication equipment, T-72 and the BMP tanks, while the ingenuity of the Army engineering came to the fore in the display of bridges that are laid when the troops are on the move and have to cross water bodies.

The mela saw participation by the Madras Regimental Centre, Wellington, Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre, Belgaum, Army Service Corps (North), Bangalore Army Service Corps Centre (South), Bangalore), Madras Engineer Group and Centre, Bangalore), Parachute Regimental Training Centre, Bangalore, among others.