Several thousand ex-servicemen have been mobilised across the country to assist the civil administration in dealing with COVID-19, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.
It is being coordinated by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW) and veterans are being contacted through the Kendriya Sainik Board and a network of 32 Rajya Sainik Boards at the State level and 403 Zila Sainik Boards.
'Brig. Satinder Singh (Retd.), Director Rajya Sainik Board, Punjab, has said they have employed 4,200 ex-servicemen (ESM) as guardians of governance who are present in every village of Punjab for data collection and community surveillance,' the Ministry said.
According to Brig Ravi (Retd), the Zila Sainik Boards in 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh are assisting a team of ESM in monitoring ration distribution, community surveillance and running of community kitchens. They have already identified and contacted 6,592 ESM from the Army Medical Corps and put them on standby for any contingency.
In Andhra Pradesh, around 300 ESM are assisting the police while some ESM associations are distributing food and essential commodities among the poor, the Ministry said.
Brig. Ravi Munniswamy (Retd.), who is coordinating the effort across Karnataka, is leading a team of 45 veteran bicycle riders in Bengaluru, who through a WhatsApp group are providing medicine and essential supplies to the old and the infirm.