The nation is proud of the selfless devotion to duty and the sacrifices made by the armed forces veterans and stands firmly with them, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said here on Sunday."The nation is proud of your selfless devotion to duty and the sacrifices made by each one of you. I can say it with conviction that it is only due to our formidable armed forces that every citizen of India today is brimming with confidence to face the world with pride," Bhamre said at the inauguration of the Armed Forces Veterans' Day here.The function was also attended by Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa and senior officials of the armed forces and Ministry of Defence."I can assure you all that although your service to the motherland is unmatched and cannot be compensated materially, but we shall strive to put in our best to ensure that we stand with you at all times," Bhamre said while addressing a gathering of veterans at the Manekshaw Centre in Delhi Cantonment.
The Minister also released a new version of the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) card on the occasion. A number of agencies involved in veterans' affairs such as Kendriya Sainik Board, ECHS and Veterans' Directorates of the three services as well as pension sanctioning and pension disbursing agencies had set up stalls at the function venue to redress problems being faced by the veterans and their families. In addition, nationalised banks had also put up stalls to help the veterans.Ex-Servicemen Welfare Secretary Sanjeevanee Kutty spoke about the new initiatives being undertaken to tackle problems faced by ex-servicemen.Armed Forces Veterans' Day is observed in memory of the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, who retired in 1953.Rallies were held at New Delhi, Allahabad, Mumbai, Port Blair, Pune, Lucknow, Jalandhar, and Jaipur to mark the occasion.