Akshay Lakshman, a firefighter who was selected under the Agnipath program and was serving in the Fire and Fury Corps in the Siachen mountains, which is said to be the highest military range in the world, died on October 22. Notably, he was the first Agniveer to die a heroic death.
In this case, many people including Congress President Rahul Gandhi are spreading it virally on social media with the caption “The news of the martyrdom of Agniveer Gawate Akshay Laxman in Siachen is very sad. My deepest condolences to his family. A young man was martyred for the country – no gratuity, no other military facilities during his service, and no pension to his family in martyrdom. Agniveer, there is a plan to insult the heroes of India!”
सियाचिन में, अग्निवीर गवाते अक्षय लक्ष्मण की शहादत का समाचार बहुत दुखद है। उनके परिवार को मेरी गहरी संवेदनाएं।
एक युवा देश के लिए शहीद हो गया – सेवा के समय न ग्रेच्युटी न अन्य सैन्य सुविधाएं, और शहादत में परिवार को पेंशन तक नहीं।
अग्निवीर, भारत के वीरों के अपमान की योजना है! pic.twitter.com/8LcQpZR9f2
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 22, 2023
Relief to be given by Union Government to martyred firefighter Akshay Laxman:
According to a report published by The Times of India, the government has announced that the death of Agniveer Akshay Lakshman will get over Rs 1 crore including non-contributory insurance, Ex-gratia, government contributions through the Agniveer scheme, salary for the remainder of his tenure and contributions from the Armed Forces War Casualty Fund.
It was possible to find out from which financial contributions these are provided through the Lok Sabha-related website called LARRDIS. It says “Non-contributory insurance of Rs. 48 lakhs and a gratuity of Rs. 44 lakhs and the balance will be provided from Seva Nidhi Fund and Agni Veer Fund.”
Agnipath Scheme Vs Other Military – Reliefs and Benefits:
Union Government of Defense Ministry launched the Agnipath scheme on June 14, 2022 to reduce unnecessary expenditure in the Indian Army, while soldiers were selected only on the basis of permanent service and short-term service. Under this scheme, males and females between the ages of 17.5 to 21 can join the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
The youths who join in this way have to work for four years on contractual basis. Their monthly salary is Rs.30 thousand in the first year, Rs.33 thousand in the second year, Rs.36,500 in the third year, and Rs.40 thousand in the fourth year. 25% of them will be permanently recruited into the army after the completion of four years of service.
30 percent of the salary will be deducted as a contribution. Only the remaining 70 percent amount will be paid to them. The Union Government will reimburse the same amount deducted from their wages as contribution. After four years, Rs 5.02 lakhs will be paid in a lump sum plus the same amount provided by the government will be paid as a service fund with interest amounting to Rs 11.71 lakhs. It is also exempted from income tax.
And since Agni soldiers work on a contract basis, they do not get pensions. Perhaps a non-contributory casualty insurance of Rs. 48 lakhs, gratuity of Rs.44 lakhs, Seva Nidhi and Agniveer Nidhi will be provided. Also, if injured during work and becomes 100% disabled, Rs. 44 lakhs, Rs. 25 lakhs for 75% disabled persons and Rs. 15 lakhs for 50% disabled persons will be provided.
Ex-servicemen and families of deceased soldiers are being given financial assistance by the Ministry of Defence. Also, the government has made various arrangements to provide concessions in education, healthcare, and other facilities to the children of martyred soldiers. They are given 2000 rupees per annum for books, 2000 rupees per annum for uniforms, and 700 rupees per annum for other clothes in addition to tuition fees and hostel fees. It should be noted that these benefits are not provided in the Agnipath scheme.
Also, the Union Government’s ex-gratia for martyrs is Rs 25 lakh to Rs 45 lakh depending on the rank of soldiers in the Armed Forces, Air Force and Navy. Gratuity (optional) is also provided by the State Government.
They are also given financial assistance up to Rs 8,00,000 through DTE OF INDIAN ARMY VETERANS called DIAV. These include welfare grants of Rs 1,00,000 for daughter’s marriage/widow remarriage, full cost of primary education, maximum of Rs 25,000 per annum for postgraduate education, and a maximum of Rs 50,000 per annum for professional studies.
Also for martyred permanent soldiers, funds are provided from Armed Forces Flag Day (AFFDF) funds under Raksha Mantri Ex-Servicemen Welfare Fund (RMEWF) and also through Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB). For these, PF facilities and special facilities for purchasing household items from canteens are also provided to the families of permanent soldiers. These are not available for Agnipath soldiers.
100% pension will be given to the families of permanent soldiers who have died. At the same time, Agnipath soldiers are not paid any pension as they work only on a contract basis.