Press Trust of india

Industries, businesses can never flourish in country where national security isn’t strong: Rajnath

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New Delhi:  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said industries and businesses can never flourish in a country where national security is not strong.

In his address at the Armed Forces Flag Day CSR Conclave here, he also asserted that the “welfare of soldiers, who ensure our national security, should not be the responsibility of only the government but it should be the duty of all”.

He also appealed to the nation to contribute generously to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund, terming it the moral responsibility of every citizen to ensure the welfare of soldiers and their families.

In his address, he emphasised that industries and businesses can never flourish in a country where national security is not strong.

Appreciating the support of big corporate donors in the last few years which has led to a substantial increase in the fund, he exhorted the fraternity to contribute even more for the well-being of soldiers and the nation at large.

The event was organised by the department of ex-servicemen welfare, the Ministry of Defence.

Singh expressed gratitude to the retired as well as serving armed forces personnel whose valour and sacrifice safeguarded the sovereignty and integrity of the country.

Singh made special mention of a soldier’s message enshrined on the Kohima War Memorial in Nagaland, which reads: “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.”

“Since independence, whether it was to win wars or counter terrorist activities from across the border, our soldiers have given a befitting reply to all challenges with courage and promptness. In the process, many of them made the supreme sacrifice and many became physically disabled.

“The entire responsibility of their family rests on them. It is, therefore, our ultimate responsibility to come forward and support our soldiers and their families in every way possible. It is because of our brave soldiers, who are always alert at the borders, we sleep peacefully and live our lives without fear,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the ministry.

Singh also threw light on the fact that a large number of military personnel retire at the age of 35-40 years so that the youthful profile of the armed forces is maintained. He described this as another reason for the people to extend all possible help to the ex-servicemen and their dependents.

Reiterating the government’s commitment towards the welfare of the country’s bravehearts, he said that a number of initiatives have been taken in this direction.

These include ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ portal, which was launched when Singh was the home minister, for the welfare of officers and jawans of the Central Armed Police Forces. Recently, ‘Maa Bharati Ke Sapoot’ website was launched by Singh for contribution to the Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund.

Singh urged the private sector to provide employment opportunities to about 60,000 soldiers who retire at a very young age every year, saying that these disciplined ex-servicemen are capable of understanding the most complex technology and using it proficiently. He said the department of ex-servicemen welfare carries out the task of ensuring employment for veterans and the industry can make a special contribution in this direction.

“The government does not consider ex-servicemen as a liability, but we see them as valuable assets, who are not only disciplined and an inspiration to society, but also equally effective as a workforce. By including them, the private companies can increase their productivity and help these ex-servicemen lead a dignified life,” Singh was quoted as saying in the statement.

The defence minister also launched a new website for the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund. The portal is an interactive and user-friendly portal developed to promote online contribution to the fund.

He also released the anthem for this year’s promotional campaign for the Armed Forces Flag Day.

Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan, Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) Vijoy Kumar Singh, and other senior officials of the ministry, members from the CSR fraternity, and many serving and retired personnel of the armed force attended the conclave, the statement said.

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