Punjab has highest number of War Widows Across Country

Rozana Spokesman

News, Punjab

Punjab is called the Nursery of Armed Forces in the Country

For Representation Purpose only

CHANDIGARH: Punjab has the highest number of 'Veer Naaris' in the entire country - widows of a member of the armed forces who have died for the country during a war or military operation. According to the data tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, there are 2,132 war widows in Punjab. Even a large state like Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for about 17% of the country's population, lags behind Punjab as there are 1,805 war widows. At present there are 14,467 'veer women' in the entire country.

Significantly, Punjab has only 2.3% of the country's population but has the highest number of war widows.

Statistics confirm that Punjab is called the nursery of armed forces in the country. After Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, Haryana ranks third with 1,566 war widows. Other smaller states/UTs including Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir also have significant numbers of 'veer naaris' at 1,076 and 1,218 respectively.

The figure was tabled in the Rajya Sabha by the Ministry of Defense (MoD) on March 27 in response to a question raised by Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Balkrishna Wasnik, who sought the number of state/UT-wise 'veer women' by January.

They also sought information about the facilities provided by the government regarding their health, housing and financial well-being. In response to the question, the Center has also given information about the various facilities, ex-gratia amount and privileges given to such widows.

In a related statistic shared by the central government on the state-wise representation of soldiers in the Lok Sabha in November 2019, it was revealed that out of the total number of 11.54 lakh jawans and junior commissioned officers (JCOs) serving in the army, a total of 89,893 soldiers and JCOs were from Punjab.

The state also has about four lakh retired soldiers including widow pensioners. Widow pensioners are different from 'veer women' as they are wives of deceased senior citizens.