First ever seminar on ‘Transition of a Soldier to a Veteran’ in West Bengal

Kolkata: The Indian Armed Forces may employ nearly 1.4 million people but there is little awareness on the complexities involved in the return of a soldier to civilian life after years in service.

With the aim to create awareness among authorities, the Rajya Sainik Board, West Bengal, organised a seminar on ‘Transition of a Soldier to a Veteran’ on Friday at Sainik Bhawan, Bagdogra in north Bengal. This was the first such event in the state.

Among those present were Lt Gen VPS Kaushik, GOC 33 Corps, Maj Gen Tarun Agrawal, GOC 111 Sub Area, Soumya Purkait, Principal Secretary Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, J Roy, Special Secretary, Department of Home Affairs, West Bengal, other officers from the military and civil administration, 12 students on internship programme from North Bengal University, Kalyani University, Aligarh Muslim University, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology and Government College of Engineering & Ceramic Technology.

The Rajya Sainik Board, West Bengal, is the first one in the country to offer a month-long internship to UG/PG and PhD students on the subject ‘Transition of a Soldier to a Veteran’. Rajya Sainik Boards look after the welfare of veterans and keep them updated on benefits due.

“This is a very important issue. Veterans and their beneficiaries are often not aware of the latest schemes that the government comes up with. There are several issues related to pension, healthcare benefits. A Soldier who has spent the better part of his life in uniform may not be aware of how to go about things after retirement. A number of such issues were discussed at the seminar. An effort was made to sensitise senior administrative officials about the needs of veterans, so they may lead their lives with dignity and self respect, as they did while being in service. Such events are extremely important as the subject is not covered in military or civil services training academies,” a senior official of the West Bengal Rajya Sainik Board said.


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