Madurai sub-branch of Air Force Association, which works towards the welfare of retired air force personnel and their family, was inaugurated here on Sunday.
Addressing the inaugural function, Air Marshal (Retired) S. Raghavan, president of the Tamil Nadu branch, said that the association was formed in 1980 with its headquarters in New Delhi.
Its objective was to help in the rehabilitation of ex-servicemen, assist the widows of Air Force personnel and create awareness among the public about the Air Force's activities. The association also regularly honoured its octogenarian members.
“The association has 18 branches in India and two abroad. Sub branches were being formed at the district head quarters. The Tamil Nadu Branch was also established in the same year when the association was formed at New Delhi,” he said.
Tamil Nadu has seven sub-branches till now, he said, adding that two more were coming up at Tuticorin and Thanjavur soon. Only around one-fifth of the association's members lived at Chennai. This makes the creation of more sub-branches in other districts vital.
These sub-branches could help the ex-servicemen or their widows to get their entitlements, particularly those regarding their children's education. Hence, they should work towards increasing their membership base, he said.
Despite the available information that over 12,000 retired air force personnel were living in Tamil Nadu, only around 5,000 have enrolled with the association so far. The rest were missing out on the information regarding latest revisions to their entitlements, said Mr. Raghavan.
Speaking later, Inspector-General of Police (South Zone) S.S. Krishnamoorthy lauded the initiatives of the association in assisting the ex-servicemen.
He also assured that he would take up their demand for land with the district administration.