Thursday, 6 February 2014

Air Force Wives Welfare Association and Widows of Retired/Ex-Servicemen

Mrs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, AFWWA Life Member No…………………………….          

President, Air Force Wives Welfare Association, Air Headquarters, Vayu Bhavan,
Rafi Marg, New Delhi – 110 011

Dear xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx,

I refer to Air HQ/99737/79/AFWWA/Org  dated 27 Jan 14 re-produced below: -


1.           Please refer Dte of Air Veterans letter dated ……………..

2.           We are extremely sorry to learn about the sad demise of your husband.

3.           The annual income of AFWWA (C) has not grown significantly in the recent past. Due to reduction in the interest rates, the income on Fixed Deposits has actually come down. The executive committee members of AFWWA have decided that Ex-gratia will not be given to the widow of (sic) deceased Retd/Ex-serviceman (emphasis supplied) with effect from 01 Apr 13. Therefore, we regret our inability to extend any financial assistance from this Association. However, you are requested to approach IAF BA, GIS Building, Subroto Park, New Delhi – 10 for financial help.

                                                                                      Yours faithfully,
                                                                                      (Prakash Singh)
                                                                                      AFWWA (Central)

2.         This is what one reads on the IAF website as of today, 5th February 2014, (please refer to

Air Force Wives Welfare Association (AFWWA) is the core welfare organization, for the ladies of the Air Force. Apart from providing innumerable benefits to its members, it provides an excellent forum for meaningful and fruitful interactions for its large number of members.

AFWWA was formed on 28th October, 1970 as a registered body to provide assistance to the families of deceased / disabled/ retired / serving personnel of the Indian Air Force. AFWWA also extends its helping hand to poor and needy people of the society. Its willing contribution to the senior citizens, Spastic children, orphans etc. is praiseworthy and worth emulating for other similar organizations.

There is no mention about the exclusion of widows of retired/ex-servicemen.

And this

3.         Air Force Wives' Welfare Association (AFWWA): The Air Force Wives' Welfare Association was established in 1970 as a welfare arm of the Indian Air Force. The Association has done much for the benefit of the families of serving and retired personnel (emphasis supplied) of the Indian Air Force. Read on for an overview of some of the benefits offered by AFWWA.

4.         I have the following observations: -

(4.1.)   as the decision of the Executive Committee was to be effective April 2013, wasn’t the Dte of Air Veterans aware that it had to forward information about the demise of my husband to AFWWA (C) for a matter that would elicit the above response?

(4.2.)   has the decision of the Executive Committee been disseminated to all past members of the AFWWA through the Air Force Association or placed in the public domain like the IAF website? May I be provided a link to that?

(4.3.)   when we were asked to take a life membership (like I did), it was understood that the validity was till the member died. Hence all benefits would accrue even after our husband retired from service. Has this proviso been changed? May I have a copy of that decision?     

            (4.4.)   “will not be given to the widow of (sic) deceased Retd/Ex-Servicemen” implies that it would be given to the widow of officer/other rank who was still in service at the time of his death. Doesn’t this decision create two classes of widows – those of Retd/Ex-Servicemen and those of personnel who died in service? May I know what would be done to the widows of the former who might be in indigent circumstances?

            (4.5.)   in my husband’s time in service the tradition was any communication with a widow would be by an officer. Has this courtesy been stopped that I receive a copy-paste (with the words ‘to extend any financial assistance’ repeated), from an Asst? Were there so many deaths that the Honorary Secretary or Honorary Jt Secy AFWWA (C) could not sign the letter of denial?     

            (4.6.)   One is aware that every AFWWA (L) contributes certain share of annual profits to AFWWA (R) and AFWWA (C) which is added to whatever the corpus is available. Therefore, FD interest rates falling is an improbable excuse/reason given the photographs of AFWWA day celebrations and the ‘at home’ in the Air House on the occasion of the AFWWA Day.

With Best Wishes

Mrs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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