In a press statement issued by Ministry of Defence, it is stated that the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a virtual meeting to review the preparedness of the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces to deal with recent spike in covid-9 cases across the country in New Delhi on 20th April 2021. Defence Secretary Dr.Ajay Kumar,
CDS Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karam Bir Singh, and other senior officials participated in the virtual meeting. The Defence Ministry officials briefed the RM about the measures taken by the Armed Forces Medical Services, OFB, DRDO and Defence PSUs about the support they are providing to the Government during this hour of crisis. Raksha Mantri asked the DPSUs, OFB and DRDO to work on war footing to provide Oxygen Cylinders and extra beds to civil administration and state governments at the earliest. He also asked the Military Hospitals to mobilize all their resources for treating Covid-19 patients.
Responding to the directions given by Rajnath Singh to OFB and DRDO, C.Srikumar General Secretary of All India Defence Employees Federation has written a detailed letter to the RM, in which he has reiterated the commitments of the Defence Civilian Employees towards the nation during COVID-19 crisis period.
www.indianpsu.com accessed a copy of AIDEF letter dtd. 21/04/2021. In their letter AIDEF has stated the following :
“It is noted from the Press Release issued by MoD on 20/04/2021 that the Hon’ble RM in a virtual meeting reviewed the preparedness of Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces, especially the role of Ordnance Factory Board and the DRDO to work on war footing to provide Oxygen Cylinders and extra beds to Civil Administration/State
Governments at the earliest. In this regard we wish to draw the attention of your honour that during the 1st wave of COVID-19 crisis during the year 2020 the entire workforce of the Ordnance Factories and DRDO worked day and Night for providing PPEs, Medical Tents, Sanitizer and Ventilators etc., to the nation to fight against the spread of COVID-19 Virus taking risk of their life. The Hon’ble RM at that point of time have appreciated the role played by the Defence Civilian Employees of Ordnance Factories, DRDO and other Defence Establishments. However to the shock of the Defence Civilian Employees of Ordnance Factories, the Government in the name
of COVID-19 relief package announced its decision to Corporatise the 220 years old Ordnance Factories in violation of the previous written assurances and agreements given by the Government. The entire work force of Ordnance Factories became demoralized and de-motivated. However inspite of the three months Nation wide lockdown, the employees of Ordnance Factories worked hard for achieving the production target of 20-21. In this second wave also many Defence Civilian Employees have become the victim of COVID-19 Virus and collapsed while performing their duty leaving their families in distress.
We reiterate our pledge and commitment for the service of the Nation and your appeal to work on war footing to provide Oxygen Cylinders and extra beds to Civil Administration/State Governments would be fulfilled. However we request your honour to consider favourably the following issues of the Defence civilian Employees.
To withdraw the decision taken by the govt. to convert the Ordnance Factories in to a Corporation/multiple Corporation in the interest of the National Security and Defence preparedness of the country.
To withdraw the GOCO Model in EME Workshops.Defence Civilian Employees and their dependents who are suffering due to COVID-19 infection should be provided Medical Treatment in all the Armed Forces Hospitals
including Military Hospitals, Naval Hospitals, Airforce Hospitals, and Command Hospitals.
All the Ordnance Factory hospitals should be augmented for admitting and treating COVID-19 patients especially the Defence Civilian Employees and their dependents.
Ventilator and Oxygen Cylinder facility may be provided in these hospitals.
All the Ordnance Factory hospital/Factory Health Clinic should be permitted to directly procure COVID-19 vaccine for vaccinating the Defence Civilian Employees and their dependents.
Full reimbursement of COVID-19 related medical treatment claims.
Sufficient stock of life saving Ramdesivir Injections in the Ordnance Factory Hospitals.
To avoid spread of COVID-19 infection in the Defence Establishments including Industrial Establishments, in accordance with DOP&T instructions MoD may issue directions that all the Industrial Establishments should be operational with only 50% of the workforce till the situation is normalized.
Sanction of Compensation/ex-gratia payment to the dependents of the Defence civilian Employees who have died due to COVID-19 infection.
Grant of out of turn compassionate appointment to the dependents of Defence Civilian employees who have died due to COVID-19 infection over and above the 5% regular
Sir, we are confident that you will appreciate the contribution and sacrifice of the Defence Civilian Employees during the entire COVID-19 crisis and issue necessary instructions for favourably considering and implementing the above proposals given by this Federation.
www.indiapsu.com contacted C.Srikumar and asked him whether the DRDO and the Ordnance Factories will be able to fulfill the task given to them in a war footing manner.
He responded that the Ordnance Factories, DRDO and its workforce are committed and devoted and whenever the country is in crisis, whether it is war period or peace period they have rose to the occasion and fulfilled their national responsibility. Moreover the employees are highly talented and within short notice they can do
wonders. The present challenge also the employees will accept and they will perform. I can only reiterate that the Government should keep all these organizations with themselves, so that to meet any eventualities these established infrastructure will be readily available. These establishments are national assets and not
liabilities. Hope Govt. must have learned a lesson from the Covid-19 crisis that it is the Government Hospitals, Govt. industries, Govt. establishments and its employees are only leading from the forefront as warriors to fight the Covid-19 virus and hence the Govt. should rethink its decision of Corporatising and Privatising the Govt. establishments in Railways, Defence, Healthcare and other activities.