Ex-Servicemen Movement to the forefront: Hindustan Times
Ex-servicemen have always faced problems, mainly to do with pensions, medical and canteen facilities. The premier organisation spearheading the cause of ESM rights and articulating their grievances currently is the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) headed by Lieut Gen Raj Kadyan from the Rajputana Rifles, who retired as deputy chief of the army staff. Being a familiar face on national television, he uses his high media profile to clearly enunciate the cause of ESM and serving soldiers to the general public.
On the One-Rank-One-Pension (OROP) issue, the IESM has taken a strong stand clearly making the grievance known to the country. Some progress has been made towards the achievement of this long-standing and genuine demand of former soldiers, but a lot more needs to be done by the government before ESM are satisfied and justice seems to have been done.
Attending a recent seminar organised by the organisation's Panchkula branch, of which Brig Kiran Krishan is the convenor, on the subject of 'Ex-Servicemen as Ambassadors of the Armed Forces', I was impressed by the dedication and commitment of its activists as also by their determination to resolve issues pertaining to the perennial problems of ESM.
In time, the IESM will probably evolve into something like the Royal British Legion with charitable and grievance resolving mechanisms providing financial, emotional and social support to both ESM and servicemen. However, to carry their mission forward, one wishes that they maintain equidistance from the two main political power blocs in the country.
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