The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed a gathering of Gurkha ex-servicemen of Indian Army at Pension Payment Office, Pokhara, Nepal today (November 4, 2016).
Speaking on the occasion, the President said it is a matter of pride that the brave Gurkhas have been serving in India since the last 200 years with exemplary courage and sincerity. They have earned a name for themselves in the Indian Army. Today 32,000 Gurkha soldiers are serving in the Indian Army and around 1 Lakh, 26 thousand ex-servicemen and their dependents are drawing pension in Nepal.
The President said these ex-servicemen are the foundational pillars of the friendship between Nepal and India. The Indian Government and Indian Army are proud of the Gurkha soldiers and ex-servicemen. He assured them that the Government of India would never step back in its efforts for the welfare of its ex-servicemen. Government of India is running many welfare schemes for their prosperity and well-being. He said every year nearly 3100 crores Nepali rupees are being distributed as pension in Nepal. In the current year our objective is to distribute around 4000 crore of Nepali rupees under ‘One Rank One Pension’ and 7th Central Pay Commission commitments.
The President said the Government of India has provided 32,000 Nepali Rupees per pensioner in addition to other aid to the 6832 earthquake affected ex-servicemen. Last year approximately 6.5 crore Nepali Rupees have been distributed under various welfare schemes. Apart from starting the ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme in Nepal to take care of their health in old age, approximately 1 crore Nepali Rupees have been distributed as medical assistance. 10 Medical Teams from Indian Army visit Nepal every year. Till now 64 Ambulances have been gifted to various Ex-servicemen institutions.
The President said the Indian Army is providing scholarships to the dependent children of ex-servicemen. Under its plan of infrastructural development, drinking water projects have been started in 1049 villages of ex-servicemen so far. Electricity has also been made available through Solar Electrification Projects in 17 remote areas.