“Do not look at a soldier as a guard, as he possesses a plethora of traits,” said Lt Gen K J Singh, GOC-in-C, Western Command, while addressing industrialists at a CII CSR-CSO Bridge 2014 on Friday morning.
Lobbying for the retired soldiers to be employed in the industry, Lt Gen Singh said, “There is a large segment of population, which is trained for about 20 years in Armed Forces, and exits at the age of 35-45 years. Their numbers are in the magnitude of about 60,000 people retiring per year. However, only about 8,000 of them could get employed.”
He added, “In the area of responsibility of Western Command, there would be about 20,000 people who exit every year. Out of them, about 2,000 are employed, the talent of the rest is wasted out. Cannot we customise them to our needs and re-skill these people?”Singh shared the details of ‘Army Welfare Placement Organisation’, Northern Region, so that industry could collaborate easily. “The Army has come up with Army Placement Node. Kindly contact the Army, before you employ other people, as we have a number of skilled people with us,” he said.
“I would request the industry to take ownership of re-skilling. Let us take a regional initiative. The Army will pilot it with you. Give us the first chance and we will give our best,” he added.
The GOC-in-C said that he was ready to open model banks and model training centres for soldiers within the premises, provided the industry took an initiative to train the soldiers.
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“It is the responsibility of the top line of society to make sure that the profit percolates to the bottom line as they are the actual stakeholders,” said Harpal Singh, chairman, Nanhi Chhaan Foundation.
Pikender Pal Singh, regional director, CII Northern Region, said, “CSR (corporate social responsibility) has become an essential element of corporate culture today. No corporate house can afford to ignore the social and environmental impact of their activities. CSR is not a donation or charity, it is a necessity today.”