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Govt doubles grant to aged gallantry awardees, widows

Chandigarh : The state government has hiked the financial grant being given to aged gallantry award recipients or their widows belonging to the state.
This grant, paid out of the Gallantry Awardees’ Corpus Fund (GACF), is in addition to the regular allowances extended to war heroes by the Central and state government.
Recipients of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), the highest gallantry award, will receive a periodic grant of Rs 25,000, while recipients of the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) and the Vir Chakra (VrC) will be entitled to Rs 15,000 and Rs 7,500, respectively. Those aged 75 or above will be entitled to this benefit. “The enhanced amounts are double the existing limits. Grants are made from the interest accrued on the GACF and depending upon the returns, it can be paid yearly or even biannually,” an officer from the Department of Defence Services Welfare said. The fund was established in 2013 and has a corpus of Rs 50 lakh.
Since Independence, Punjab has four PVC recipients, none of whom are alive, about 26 MVCs and 152 VrCs. “Barring recipients of gallantry awards in Sri Lanka operations or the Kargil conflict, most of the recipients or their widows are now above the age of 75 years,” the officer said. The number of wartime gallantry awardees is steadily dwindling. Most of the contemporary gallantry awards are of the Ashok Chakra series, awarded in operations other than war.

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