Plea to increase honorarium for World War II veterans

Staff Reporter

There are 1,200 living World War II veterans and 1,650 widows in the State

They are getting an honorarium of

Rs. 1,500 a month

Bangalore: The Department of Sainik Welfare and Resettlement Board has sought a higher honorarium to the nearly 1,200 living World War II veterans and about 1,650 widows.

Director of the Board Colonel C.M. Uthaiah told The Hindu on the occasion of Remembrance Day that he had written to the State Government seeking an increase in the monthly honorarium from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,500.

Meanwhile, VeKare Ex-servicemen Trust founder M.N. Subramani, who is also the son of a World War II veteran, claimed that hundreds of living World War II veterans or their widows in Karnataka have been denied the honorarium on account of stringent conditions imposed by the State Government.

For instance, he said, the State Government had made mandatory the production of medals given to those who participated in the World War II to get the honorarium and many eligible war veterans and their widows were unable to produce the medals for various genuine reasons. “They may have not received the medals as they were sent through post. Some may have even sold them for money. Many may not have thought it necessary to preserve the medal as they did not realise its future value,” he said.

He said that the Union Government did not impose such conditions when it started the scheme, but State Government introduced such a condition subsequently when it invited application from left over war veterans during later years.

Colonel Uthaiah said honorarium is given from the State Government’s kitty. Hence, the State Government had to introduce certain rules.

“Production of medals is one of the conditions we have put. However, we have been very proactive and sympathetic towards world war veterans. We have even extended the deadlines for receiving applications for the honorarium quite a few times to accommodate all the genuine cases”, he said.

Homage paid

Serving and retired members of the armed forces joined the members of the church to pay homage to those killed in two World Wars on Sunday as part of the Remembrance Day Service held at St Mark’s Cathedral in the city.

The representatives of various different units of the Indian Army, the Navy and the Air Force, who paid homage by participating in the service, also laid wreaths at the Cenotaph.

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