New Delhi, December 8
Almost 3 lakh widows of soldiers of the armed forces reside in the north-western part of the country. In all, the country has 6,98,252 widows, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) informed the Lok Sabha on Friday. Of these, 2,99,314 widows live in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Delhi and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
These women may not be widows of war veterans or those who were killed in action in counter-insurgency operations. This is the overall number of women, who are widows of soldiers, who may have died due to any cause, officials explained.
Kerala at second spot with 69,507
- In all, the country has 6.98 lakh widows of soldiers. Kerala is at the second spot and Uttar Pradesh at third with 69,507 and 68,815 widows, respectively
- Almost 3 lakh widows of soldiers reside in the North. Of these, 2,99,314 live in Punjab, Haryana, HP, J&K, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Chandigarh
Punjab has the highest number of widows of armed forces personnel among all states in the country. The number of registered widows of ex-servicemen in Punjab is 74,253, the Ministry of Defence said.
This is 10.63 per cent of the total number of widows. Countrywide, Kerala is second and Uttar Pradesh is at the third spot with 69,507 and 68,815 widows. The ministry data says Haryana is sixth on the countrywide list and has 53,546 widows. The north-western states have a big contribution to manpower in the armed forces.
The question on widows came up after MP Sunil Dattatray Tatkare asked about the welfare of the widows of ex-servicemen. “The widows are entitled to family pension, which is revised under one rank one pension (OROP) after every five years,” Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt informed the Lok Sabha. The family pension is also linked with dearness relief which is revised after every six months, he added. Compassionate appointments have been granted to 32 widows of the deceased defence personnel during 2022.
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