“Welfare of the ex-servicemen is top priority of the government and it is committed to provide various facilities for them, including 10 per cent reservation each in jobs and housing schemes,” said Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, adding that the people of Karnataka are indebted to the serving, retired defense personnel and the martyrs.

He was speaking at the valedictory function of the two-day Army Mela held at the Torchlight Parade Ground in Bannimantap this morning.

Siddharamaiah said that the land has been allotted for the setting up of a polyclinic under the Employees Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) to cater to the medical needs of ex-servicemen and their families. A defense canteen will also be built on the land, he said and added that more such polyclinics will be set up in other districts of the State.

The CM also called upon the corporate bodies to provide employment to retired defense personnel on a priority basis as they are trained and skilled manpower, having led a life of discipline.

There is a good synergy between the State government and the Army, said Siddharamaiah and hoped that the synergy will continue in future as well.

Lt. Gen. V.K. Pillai, General Officer Commanding (Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka), delivering the welcome speech, expressed gratitude to the district administration for extending all support and cooperation for the Mela which went on without any glitch.

The Chief Minister later felicitated Veera Naris (mothers and widows of soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice) and presented them with mementoes.

Among the Veera Naris felicitated were: Mysore district - Niroopa Madappa, wife of Ganesh Madappa (attained martyrdom on Sept. 27, 1995); Lakshmi Mali Patil, wife of Ramesh Kandappa Patil (Dec. 31, 2001); Ratnamma, mother of N.S. Mahesh (Oct. 10, 2006); Shakuntala, wife of Radhakrishnan (Oct. 22, 1987); Balamani, mother of G. Sharath and Mahadevi, mother of N. Sundra (June 13, 2005).

Among the ‘Battle Casualty Willing Person’ (Madikeri taluk) who were felicitated were: Mallige, wife of Shambu; Y.M. Halamma, mother of M. Prabhakar; Seethamma, mother of M.G. Sudarshan; K.S. Sharada, mother of K.S. Ravindra; Bindu, wife of A. Radhakrishna; Dechavva, wife of P.B. Kuttappa; Janamani, wife of C.R. Chandra; B.S. Kamavva, mother of B.S. Devaiah and C.M. Bollamma, mother of C.M. Somaiah.

This was followed by the Dynamic Displays watched by hundreds of citizens, including women and children.

Maj. Gen. A.K. Singh, General Officer Commanding, Karnataka and Kerala Sub-Area, Brig. M.M. Devaiah, Mysore Regional Commissioner M.V. Jayanthi, DC C. Shikha, MCC Commissioner Dr. M.R. Ravi, Archaeology and Heritage Department Commissioner Dr. C.G. Betsurmath, IGP Dr. K. Ramachandra Rao, City Police Commissioner Dr. M.A. Saleem, SP Abhinav Khare and others were present.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore