An Organisation for Our Wounded Brave Hearts
While, many of our soldiers have given their life for the nation, those who survive with high levels of injuries, many a times face disabilities and are thereupon discharged from the service. Life post-disability is difficult for the defence personnels, especially for those belonging to rural areas. The 5th Central Pay Commission recommended that the increment of over 50 per cent disability should be 75 per cent, but even that has not been implemented.
The War Wounded Foundation (WWF) envisions having the war wounded personnels become productive citizens by participating in the economic development of the Nation. At the same time, they must be able to supplement their pension, including disability pension. The WWF that was founded in 2002 has been successfully working for the long-term rehabilitation of armed forces personnel who get disabled in a war or a war-like situation and thereby get discharged from service. Their work involves creating long- term avenues for the financial independence of all war-wounded soldiers across Navy, Army & Air Force. Estimates suggest that there are nearly 30,000 war-wounded personnel in the nation. Continuous and heavy involvement of the defence forces, especially the Army, in terrorist operations across Bharat further leads to constant addition in these numbers.
With no membership fee, the Foundation works on a voluntary and free charge model. The staff or the office bearers of the foundation work only on honorary basis, and therefore receive no emoluments whatsoever. Despite being a registered charitable society, it’s yet to received any funds from the government. Only on the basis of donations from individuals, associations, institutions and organisations it carries out much of its activities.
A major chunk of our defence personnel are from rural areas, and they strive to return to their hometowns and villages post their service, as they are seldom interested in taking up jobs in the private sector. Therefore, the foundation focused on getting some sort of retail outlet or dealership with rural-markets for them. This way they are able to generate self employment for the war personnels close to their hometowns and villages.
The personnel, having become ‘soldier entrepreneurs’ also earn commissions on products sold so as to supplement their income apart from just the pension. The foundation now has shifted its concerns towards providing ‘skills’ to them. They initially focused on skills like computer training, spoken English, repairs of small items like TV, radios, cycles etc. Depending on the feedback, they have now made the ’skills’ open-ended, to include driving training and in other fields that appeal to these personnel.
As some of the older war-disabled personnel were reluctant to learn new skills, they opened the field to their wards also, so that the financial position of these personnel improved through their sons and daughters. This has now become their major focus, as acquisition of new skills appeals to the war-disabled personnel, and their children alike.
The aim of the war wounded foundation also coincides with the added focus of both the central and state governments on “Rural Bharat”, and that is where most of the aided defence personnels come from.
The War Wounded Foundation has therefore led a successful attempt in dotting the countryside of the Nation with self – confident, enterprising, diligent and honest ‘soldier- entrepreneurs', who despite their disabilities continue to do their bit for nation- building and the prosperity of our nation.
The Foundation has also committed to assist the veterans in resolving their personal problems with relevant government / pension/ medical authorities.
Besides joining the mainstream of our society, these ‘soldier – entrepreneurs' not only have a useful and honourable place in society, but also enjoy mental peace and motivate the youth of Bharat.