The Union government has finally doubled the monthly allowances for gallantry medals won during wars and peace, but they are still far from being substantial. Recipients of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), the country’s highest medal during war, and its peacetime equivalent Ashoka Chakra (AC), for instance, will still get only Rs 20,000 and Rs 12,000 per month respectively.
Gallantry award winners do also get one-time cash awards or plots from their state governments but they vary widely with no uniformity. “They range from a paltry Rs 22,500 (PVC) and Rs 20,000 (AC) in Gujarat to Rs 2 crore and Rs 1 crore in Punjab and Haryana. States like Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Bihar give between Rs 8 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for ACs and PVCs.
We had heard the monthly allowance would be hiked to at least Rs 30,000 per month from the existing Rs 10,000. Anyway, whatever the government has done is good. Incidentally, the BJP manifesto for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections had promised a ten-fold hike in the monetary allowances for gallantry medals, which included Rs 30,000 for the PVC from the then Rs 3,000 per month, with retrospective effect.