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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

Mothers, Veterans Fight The Govt’s Decision to Cap Educational Expenses For Martyrs’ Kids

  • IWB Post
  •  December 6, 2017

The military and veterans are currently protesting the government’s decision to cap the educational expenses paid for children of martyrs, disabled, or missing officers and jawans at Rs 10,000 per month. 

After having impacted over 3,200 students in schools, colleges, and professional institutions, the decision to curb the educational expenses came into effect from July 1, 2017. Earlier, the scheme announced in the Lok Sabha on December 18, 1971, two days after the Pakistani forces surrendered to the Indian forces at Dhaka, allowed complete exemption of tuition for the kids of martyrs and those who became disabled in action.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had written to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, seeking reversal of the ministry’s decision to cap educational expenses, calling for an immediate review and revocation of the decision, which he said was “immoral” and “unprincipled”.

“The move to cap the expenses at Rs 10,000 per month would make a mockery of the objective behind the scheme, announced in the Lok Sabha in 1971 and introduced next year,” said Captain Amarinder, as he thinks that the welfare of the armed forces and their kin is a national responsibility. Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba also wrote to Nirmala Sitharaman, requesting her to rebuke the order.

This small gesture would assure the families of our brave women and men that the nation cares for them, and their sacrifices are truly appreciated by the government,” he wrote.

Mothers of children of martyrs have also written to the Defence Minister, seeking revocation of this decision. The wife of a Lt Col killed in a helicopter crash has also filed a petition explaining how her only child, who suffers from Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and specific learning disability with 45 percent permanent impairment, benefitted from the earlier scheme and help that the government provided.

“The revised policy has come like a shock to me. It is impossible for me to afford my son’s fees without the government grant… I anxiously await a positive response that will contribute to my child’s education and future and honor my husband’s supreme sacrifice for the nation,” she wrote.

As mothers and veterans fight this decision, perhaps it’s time to revisit how our country treats its soldiers. Is it so difficult to secure their children’s future while they selflessly save our present?

Image used for representation purposes only. 

H/T: Republic

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