General Dalbir Singh, Chief of the Army Staff, inaugurated the Directorate of Indian Army Veterans at Delhi Cantt,. The directorate shall provide a wide range of veteran care and support services, as also a single point of contact, or redress, to the veterans, widows and wards residing across the country.
The inauguration of the new directorate under the Adjutant General Branch coincides with the first ever celebration of Veterans Day in the Indian Army. The day marks the relinquishment of active service by India’s two most well known military leaders, Field Marshal KM Cariappa, OBE and Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw, MC in year 1953 and 1973 respectively.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief of the Army Staff stressed the need to strengthen the institutional framework for veteran care and support in the Indian Army. He remarked that the raising of the Directorate of Indian Army Veterans (DIAV) marks the first step towards creating a coherent veteran care and support structure in India. He further stated that there is more that needs to be done at the last mile, which will follow consequent to the raising of the new directorate.
Building on the existing framework of Army HQ Veterans Cell, the DIAV is organised into four verticals, namely Policy and Outreach, Pension and Entitlements, Benefits and Services and Career Transition Planning Sections. Each vertical will be headed by a Director level officer fully versed in veteran matters and duly assisted by a mix of serving and retired officers.
Apart from the functional sections, the DIAV has fielded a Veterans E-Lobby & Services Complex comprising of a range of disciplines. Key highlights include the establishment of e-banking services by our principal pension bankers, the State Bank of India or Punjab National Bank. Besides this, the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Artificial Limb Centre Manufacturing Company Kanpur (ALIMCO) too have opened their consultancy services at the new complex.
To mark the occasion, the COAS released the inaugural issue of SAMMAAN magazine, which is focussed on the role of veterans in nation building. Several well known military and civil writers have contributed with their views and opinions on this important topic. The event also witnessed the launch of Phase 2 and 3 of the Indian Army Veterans Web Portal.
The ceremony was attended by the former Chiefs, a large number of senior serving and retired officers, widows and disabled soldiers and members of the wider veteran fraternity.