Preparing disabled soldiers for second career option

Last Updated: Wed, Jul 21, 2010 12:50 hrs

The Indian Army Wednesday tied-up with a private wheelchair manufacturer that will train disabled soldiers and employ them as its sales and maintenance representatives for a second career.

The memorandum of understanding, which an army spokesperson said would give 'further impetus to welfare and empowering measures of disabled soldiers', was signed by Director General (Manpower Planning and Personnel Services) Lt. Gen. V.K. Chaturvedi and chief executive of Callidai Motor Works Bhargav Sundaram.

Adjutant General Lt. Gen. Mukesh Sabharwal and senior army officers were present when the pact was signed in South Block that houses the defence ministry and the headquarters of the Indian Army and the Indian Navy.

According to the agreement, Callidai Motor Works will train disabled soldiers or their wards and families in facilities to be set up by the army at its regimental training centres.

'These facilities will be manned by experts from the firm. After successful training, the disabled personnel will be absorbed by Callidai as its sales-cum-maintenance representatives for their range of manual and automated wheelchairs,' the spokesperson said.

The agreement 'aims at progressively staffing each district of the country with a trained representative', he said.

The two sides, the spokesperson said, have partnered 'an attractive terms and remuneration package'.

The Chennai-based Callidai is one of the largest Indian manufacturers of powered and special wheelchairs meant to aid patients with diverse needs arising from ailments and medical conditions.

The army, in the last one year, has taken a slew of measures to empower and prepare soldiers for a second career.

Project Gyandeep, a tie up with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was signed in 2009 to meet the twin objectives of empowering soldiers educationally and providing an opportunity for a second career option.

The tie up seeks to confer educational certification to soldiers.

It was followed by Project Kshamta signed with Microsoft for training soldiers on computer and software applications.