New Delhi [India], November 29 (ANI): Underlining the fact that there is no "alternative to the national security", Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday exhorted the corporate fraternity to contribute more for the well-being of the soldiers and the nation at large.
The Defence Minister's remarks came while addressing the Armed forces Flag Day CSR conclave.
"Throughout history, we've seen countries whose national security isn't strong and haven't seen prosperity in the business, industry. There can't be an alternative to national security, it's the responsibility of all the people along with armed forces," Singh said.
The Minister said that it is the "national responsibility" of the people to take care of the retired soldiers.
"Our armed forces are youthful. A large chunk of the personnel retires between the age of 35-40 years to maintain this profile. The Well-being of soldiers, who ensure national security, should not be the government's responsibility alone, it should be the duty of all," Singh said.
He expressed gratitude to the retired as well as serving Armed Forces personnel, whose valour & sacrifice, has safeguarded the sovereignty and integrity of the country.
"Since independence, whether it was to win wars or counter terrorist activities from across the border, our soldiers have given a befitting reply to all challenges with courage and promptness. In the process, many of them made the supreme sacrifice and many became physically disabled. The entire responsibility of their family rests on them. It is, therefore, our ultimate responsibility to come forward and support our soldiers and their families in every way possible. It is because of our brave soldiers, who are always alert at the borders, we sleep peacefully and live our lives without fear," Singh said.
Rajnath asserted that "the welfare of soldiers, who ensure our national security, should not be the responsibility of only the government, but it should be the duty of all".
He emphasised that industries and businesses can never flourish in a country where national security is not strong. Appreciating the support of big corporate donors in the last few years, which has led to a substantial increase in the fund, he exhorted the fraternity to contribute even more for the well-being of the soldiers and the nation at large.
With top corporate heads in attendance at the event, Rajnath Singh stated that the government recognised the power of the private sector & its role in the progress of the country as soon as it came to power in 2014, adding that the defence sector, which was always considered untouched for the private companies, is now fully prepared to welcome them. He urged the private sector to provide employment opportunities to about 60,000 soldiers who retire at a very young age every year, saying that these disciplined ex-servicemen are capable of understanding the most complex technology and using it proficiently.
He said, the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare carries out the task of ensuring employment for the veterans and the Industry can make a special contribution in this direction.
The Defence Minister said that the government does not consider the ex-servicemen as a liability, but as valuable assets.
"They are not only disciplined and an inspiration to society but also equally effective as a workforce. By including them, the private companies can increase their productivity and help these ex-servicemen lead a dignified life," Singh said. (ANI)