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Army reaches out to NOK of soldiers to address their problems in Jammu

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: May 21, 2019  | 16:03 IST

/R Jammu, May 21 (PTI) With the Army commemorating 2019 as the 'year of Next of Kin (NOK)', the Jammu-based Tiger division Tuesday organised a rally to address the problems being faced by the families of soldiers here. Senior officers of the civil administration led by Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, who assured full support to the initiative to ensure that the families of the soldiers do not face any problems, attended the event. Hundreds of NOK of the soldiers, mostly women, turned up at the rally held inside the sprawling Army headquarters in the heart of the city. A two-minute silence was observed to pay respects to the fallen soldiers before the experts heard the problems of the NOK of the soldiers. "The Army chief has dedicated 2019 as year of NOK to reach out to the families of the soldiers and we are taking it forward to ensure resolution of the problems being faced by them," General Officer Commanding of 26 Infantry Division Maj Gen Sharad Kapur said addressing the gathering. He said the Army is alive to the problems being faced by the NOK of the soldiers, including ex-servicemen. "We dedicated 2018 to the year of disabled soldiers and we reached out to all such soldiers in the state. Majority of the problems being faced by them were addressed and others, too, are being looked into," he said. Maj Gen Kapur asked those who could not make it to the rally to contact brigade headquarters in their immediate vicinity for redressal of the issues being faced by them. "If you reach us, the directions are clear that we have to resolve your problems," he said. Welcoming the divisional commissioner, he said the Army has expanded the scope and invited the officers from the civil administration so that they, too, are involved in the initiative. The Army had dedicated 2019 as the 'year of NOK' to reach out to the next of kin of battle and physical casualties, ex-servicemen and serving soldiers to inform them of entitled financial benefits, welfare schemes and help resolve pension-related problems. The divisional commissioner said the civil administration is always ready to help the families of the soldiers who are safeguarding the nation and its borders. "We believe that a soldier who is posted on the borders should not be disturbed by the problems being faced by his NOK, whether it is related to land, electricity, water, court or police case. He should be satisfied that somebody is there to take care for him," he said.         Verma said there is a cell at divisional level for redressal of the problems being faced by the soldiers and their families. "We are further strengthen this cell which will be headed by additional commissioner. Similarly, at district level the Sainik Welfare boards and administrative officers will jointly listen to their (NOK of soldiers) problems," he said. Briefing about the initiative, Col Vikash Slathia said about 150 to 200 battle casualties, whether on the borders or in the hinterland due to counter-insurgency operations, and 1,000 to 1,200 physical casualties due to other reasons like accidents and sickness take place annually. "The families of physical casualties face various problems and it is our endeavour to take care of such families this year," he said. Col Slathia said the target population of the initiative is also the ex-servicemen, disabled soldiers and children having special needs. "We are collecting all data in our area and will try to know the problems being faced by you for redressal," he said assuring that the effort would continue in future as well. PTI TAS AB AQS

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