Naval Veterans’ Interaction Held at Naval Base, Kochi
The 11th Annual General Body Meeting of the Veteran Sailors Forum (VSF), Kochi Charter was held at the Sagarika Auditorium, Naval Base on 10 November 2019. Over 200 Veterans and Veernaris of Indian Navy attended the event. Rear Admiral RJ Nadkarni, VSM, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command (SNC) who was the Chief Guest and Patron of the Forum paid rich tributes to the Naval Veterans for laying a strong foundation for the Indian Navy of today. The Admiral in his address to the Naval Veterans informed about the initiative of Indian Navy to offer placement opportunities for their second innings by signing MoU with Qatar Navy. He further intimated that the Navy is also seeking similar employment opportunities with other friendly nations. He also informed that Government of Kerala is also considering job opportunities to Ex-Servicemen in the coastal security set up of the state. He assured the forum members that SNC would stand by the motto “Navy cares for its Veterans”.
The Admiral urged all stakeholders and beneficiaries to exploit health care facilities available in service hospitals as far as possible to ease the burden on ECHS. He stated that various measures initiated by Navy such as provisioning of hostel facilities for Veernaris and their dependents at New Delhi, honouring the Next of Kins of battle casualties at the National War Memorial, development of a web portal to link naval veterans with serving personnel would greatly improve the well being of the men who serve the Nation. Pension and ECHS Help Desks were also established at the venue to resolve individual grievances of Veterans.
VSF (Kochi) Charter was set up at SNC to focus on welfare related issues concerning veterans and also interface with Naval Headquarters, as well as Central and State Government Agencies, towards availing benefits earmarked for ESM. Over the years, the VSF (Kochi) Charter has evolved into an effective platform for addressing the grievances and disseminating information concerning veterans.