You all must have heard names like; Ragda, Front Roll, Back Roll, Maharaja, Drill Raosting etc. These all are the common heard terms in life of a trainee cadet in the Military Training institutes.
They are made to “Bite the Bullet” through a rigorous training programme which trains their body & mind in a firm manner.
When a candidate qualifies any written examination for any defence entry, he touches the level of excellence & is now all set to face the SSB.
Service Selection Board (SSB) is a consortium that assesses the candidates for becoming an officer in Armed forces using a set of standard evaluetory tests. The candidates are both physically & mentally tested in the five day SSB-test procedure.
A candidate who gets recommended from the respective SSB Board is a true exorable of Hardwork& Patience. His efficiency & dedication made him to achieve such. After getting commissioned, the training begins. Candidates go through a painstaking training period for a period of three years which builds their mind as well as their body mock-solid.
During the training period, candidates perform various next impossible tasks. Although, the all are under great supervision & care but sometimes get injured. Many of these accidents are not so fatal but some results to disability for the candidates. They cannot continue their training.
Oooh! What a Fate!
A meritorious candidate who has qualified the written examinations & even the SSB is now disabled for the Armed forces. His labour, intelligence, courage all in vain.
A young boy/girl whose dreams just have started flying into the high sky becomes a burden for his family.
You all would be surprised to know that there are around 400 officer cadets who are disabled while training and are now not fit for the Indian Armed forces. They all are like us, living in our society with us. But the government shows no care for them.
A no. of cases are like this; few of them are-
A 19 year old boy dreamed to protect his country & to become an officer in the Armed forces— Shubham Gupta. He must be happy when he cracked NDA & SSB & joined the training but his fate made him 100% disabled for the Armed forces. He was boarded out of the Academy with 100% disability. His happy parents are now in a stress to make him fit again.
But who cares!
He was just given a monthly financial aid (Ex-Gratia) & no other benefits normally given to disabled Ex-Servicemen. This is not only the case of Shubham but there are many more- Flight cadet Rajkumar Herojit Singh was boarded out of Air Force Academy on medical grounds.
These are not some examples but there are a no. of candidates who are left out, wounded & forgotten.
Don’t they deserve a life of nobility?
Don’t they deserve a second chance for their dreams?
Do disabled cadets face deprivation?
Boarded out cadets get “Ex- Gratia” instead of Pension depriving them of benefits that are given to ex-servicemen.In spite of the cadets being trainees for a Group-A gazette-level commissioned appointments, the Ex- gratia is lower than benefits given to recruits who are absorbed at Group-C level.
Ex-Gratia Awards for death or disablement of cadets was introduced on April 16, 1996 at Rs 375 per month and a ‘Disability Award’ of Rs 600 per month for 100% disability as was sanctioned. This amount has since been revised periodically to presently stand at Rs 9000 per month is in force.
“If they receive a regular Disability Pension, they automatically qualify as Ex-Servicemen, thereby becoming eligible to avail other benefits like Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) facilities.
This becomes even worse when the Other Government Employees ,Even Army Sepoys & all ranks of CAPFs are availed for Regular Disability Pension. Military Personnels Below Officer Rank (PBOR) Who are boarded out of trainings are also considered as Ex- Servicemen & get Medical facilities.
What’s in the Future ?
The government should change their policies & should offer more to these candidates. “If they receive a regular Disability Pension, they automatically qualify as Ex-Servicemen & are eligible to avail other benefits. So, not giving them as ESM status & denying Disability pension is absurd.
It is indeed pitiful that these brave candidates suffered this much in service of the nation but what is more awful that this nation ignores them!
The government should think over some points for these candidates.
- Disability pension of the rank for which the candidate is training.
- Life-long medical cover
- Option for employment in other government Grade— A jobs.
Training a candidate to make him an officer who can do anything for his nation is the most toughest part & Everyone is proud of Indian Armed Forces which are continuously doing it .