Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday launched ‘Maa Bharati Ke Sapoot’ website for contribution to the Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (AFBCWF) and appealed to the people to contribute generously to the fund.
“Launched the ‘Maa Bharati Ke Sapoot’ website for contribution to Armed Forces Battle Casualties Welfare Fund. I appeal everyone to contribute generously to this fund and support the families of India’s bravehearts. It is our moral duty to support them,” Rajnath tweeted.
According to a statement by the Defence Ministry, AFBCWF is a Tri-Service fund, which is utilised to grant immediate financial assistance to the families of soldiers/sailors/airmen who lay down their lives or are grievously injured in active military operations.
“The website (www.maabharatikesapoot.mod.gov.in) will enable people to contribute online directly to the fund. A certificate of online contribution can also be downloaded,” it said.
The launch event was organised at the National War Memorial Complex in New Delhi on Friday.
In his address, Singh paid tributes to the valiant soldiers of the Armed Forces whose sacrifice and unwavering commitment keep the country safe from those who try to cast an evil eye.
“Names of great personalities like Maharana Pratap, Veer Shivaji, Bhagwan Birsa Munda, Rani Laxmibai, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and Ashfaqullah Khan will be etched in our hearts forever. Their sacrifices continue to be an inspiration for all. It is our Armed Forces who are at the core preserving our freedom,” he said.
Singh commended the Armed Forces for always protecting the sovereignty, unity and integrity of the country by responding to threats such as wars and cross-border terror activities with courage and promptness.
“Therefore, it is the moral responsibility of the citizens to come forward and support the soldiers & their families in the same way they fulfil their duties of protecting the nation,” he said.
Referring to the public support to the Armed Forces during the 1962 and 1971 wars as also the ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ initiative he took for the welfare of Central Armed Police Forces personnel during his stint as the Home Minister, Singh asserted that it has always been the country’s tradition of extending all possible help to its soldiers.
He described the AFBCWF as one of the major steps in that direction, urging the people to contribute generously to the fund”Everyone should play their part in the country’s journey of progress. One should become a responsible rider in this journey and not a free rider. It is our duty to actively participate in nation-building,” he said.
On the occasion, the Defence Minister also felicitated the next of kin of fallen heroes and disabled soldiers. Parents and relatives of many war-decorated soldiers graced the occasion.
The event was attended by Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) Vijoy Kumar Singh, Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral SN Ghormade and other senior civil and military officials.
Olympic Gold medallist Subedar Neeraj Chopra was also present.