Profile of a Welfare Organisation for Ex-Servicemen
Columnist Col (Retd)EAS BOKHARI gives an
expansive overview of an ex-servicemens
ex-serviceman who spends his life in an atmosphere of discipline - and fairplay finds it
rather difficult to adjust to the civvy conditions. A large number of these
simply cannot adjust to the non-egalitarian environments - and some are simply baffled and
It is unfortunate that the economic conditions - and monetary environments in the country do not permit full social benefits to these otherwise potential human resources. it is here that the Fauji Foundation comes in a big way in providing them social security and such facilities as education for their children and health coverage.
I have recently had an opportunity of seeing FF a little closely and am much impressed by the performance of this welfare-industrial complex. A very brief profile of the outfit is contained in this presentation.
The other day I had the good fortune of attending one of the rare presentations of the Managing Director Fauji Foundation Lt-Gen Khalid Latif Moghal at Jhelum. Fauji Foundation may be rightly considered as a rare success story of our times. Even such astute investors/cum industrial operators as the Koreans have recently awarded a place of real honour to Fauji Foundation. Some time back there was what could be termed as Glasnost about the army - but of late that
openness has disappeared. In that context it was most creditable for the MD Fauji Foundation to make a very scintillating and forthright presentation about the working of Fauji Foundation in the Iftikhar Auditorium.
I was doubly rewarded as there were a number of ex-servicemen of my era - and even of earlier times whom I met. Brigadier Abbas Beg - who may be considered a mentor of most of the present day gunner officers - though a little disabled and yet taking pride in not accepting any assistance was there too. It was nice to discuss with him some of the older artillery sub-units and their performance. He had in fact served 17 Mtn (N) Battery from 1935 to 1938 i.e before going to the Military Academy. He told me that he was not sure whether some of the present batteries i.e 5 (Nowshera) - and one from (SP) can rightly call themselves as Nowshera Batteries. I am working on this little piece of research. There were of course more relics like me to be found in the gathering. It was simply soul stirring.
Surprisingly from the MD to the Chief Guest the gathering was gunner-dominated. The GOC Kharian, Corps Commander Rawalpindi and GOC Jhelum also graced the occasion. I have digressed a little but I suppose this was unavoidable.
Many an ex-serviceman cribbed and even during the question hour in the presentation there were people who complained that Fauji Foundation was not providing the necessary social security cover. They hardly realised that the problem was massive and to cover good nine million beneficiaries was not so easy. I thought that the Foundation has provided succour to a very large number besides generating enough funds in its 8 industrial units, 5 shareholding projects - and the two new gigantic projects being set up with an approximate cost of US $ 540 million. Its on-going projects include Kabirwala Power Plant and a DAP Plant. The performance of Fauji Foundation I thought was highly commendable not withstanding the general complaints and the size of the problem.
It was good to learn from the MD that some state of the art projects like the manufacture of software etc are also in the pipeline and should soon be in hand. Such innovative investment is a must for a burgeoning outfit like the Foundation.
The question hour was well utilised by the MD to clarify policy matters and the rationale for setting up certain welfare units and industrial groups at selected places and not all over the country. Surely a God forsaken place like say Malakwal or Domeli cannot be the site of a software factory or for that matter any large industrial unit due to problems of infrastructure and the industrial inputs et al.
I am not burdening the readers with the performance of the Foundation in the education and medical sectors, suffice it will be to list the figures of important units in these sectors which cover the essential social security facets. These are as below:
The MD explained that some quarters thought that the Foundation was a rather privileged outfit. Far from it, the Foundation paid its full quota of taxes, levies and other liabilities as surcharges et al and was never a defaulter on any count. The MD went on to explain the sore point of employment of retired officers and for which a very large number of applicants come up. He told
categorically that the number of vacancies with the Foundation is very small and now the GHQ Welfare Directorate has also been associated with the process of finding work for retired officers. He also explained that some more vacancies have been created within the Foundation.
It is not possible to present the entire budget of the Foundation in this presentation nor even a glimpse of its entire gamut of activities. I have tried just to highlight some of its more important facets.
Finally, I should think that Fauji Foundation is a unique outfit for the welfare of ex-servicemen. It is both highly humanitarian and forward looking in its industrial planning. I do hope that the MD will continue with the good work of presenting the activities of his outfit personally, as he did so admirably at Jhelum the other day. He must be congratulated for that.
Fauji Foundation (FF) may be singled out for its unique performance and operation. It is run with vision and egalitarian purposes. Of course it must make money for its dual role but as I have put it the outfit has much loftier overall goals which are humanitarian and not purely money minting which any thrifty and miserly business house can easily make notwithstanding the dubious means employed for this goal.
FF is unique in this respect that it looks after the welfare of a good over nine million ex-servicemen who are invariably ignored by the other government agencies - and are terribly oppressed and miserable once they shed their uniforms. These poor souls - notwithstanding their expertise are misfits and it is FF which comes to their rescue - in providing, health, education and re-employment facilities. FF in fact has a massive mandate as it rightly claims to be A charitable trust for the welfare of ex-servicemen, and their dependents. No other business house in the country has such a massive egalitarian mandate - irrespective of the profits made by it.
FF is a bit of a miracle - and over a short period of time it has grown phenomenally - and its present assets stand at over 9 billion which were just around Rs 18 million in mid-fifties. Surely it is remarkable feat - and a real success story.
FF has earned a very considerable applause outside the country - and it also earned the coveted The World Veterans Federation Rehabilitation Prize in 1997 at Seoul (Republic of Korea). The citation for this remarkable prize is worth quoting. It runs that the prize was awarded for its remarkable achievements in looking after ex-servicemen and their families in providing healthcare, education, technical training, employment, artificial limbs and other facilities for the rehabilitation of disabled ex-servicemen, thus enabling them to be full-fledged citizens contributing to the welfare of their communities. Very few like outfits or NGOs can boast of such a remarkable performance.
The performance of FF is more remarkable especially as the foundation is a self-supporting entity in entirety. It is a charitable trust which receives no financial assistance from either the Federal or the Provincial governments. It also does not get any donations from any other source. It has to generate its own funds for the massive humanitarian mandate.
FF beneficiaries include the following categories of service personnel:
This is a mouthful - and out of sheer necessity, the foundation has to do well in its commercial ventures where it must invest wisely, and run the business shrewdly.
A very brief business profile of FF is indicated as below:
Fully Owned Projects include:
Shareholding Projects include:
New Projects consist of:
It is through wise investment and expert management that FF has established a nitche in the Private Sector. The industrial units/ projects have been set up with great care and some of the factors which have been taken into account for this area:
parameters related to the project.
At first glance it appears that the welfare projects have been established somewhat arbitrarily, and many ex-servicemen who do not have such facilities located in their areas feel that way. In fact it is far from it - and there is a perfect rationale for the location of every such facility. And at some repetition the criteria for such locations has a perfect reason. The main factors taken into account for each location are as below:
In fact as commonly - and rather erroneously thought there was no arbitrary consideration for setting up of a particular project in a special area.
It is most confidence giving and interesting to see the pace of growth of welfare projects. This growth is indicated in an inset. It will be seen that it is most accelerated in the medical and education sectors especially in the current year.
Finally here we have an outfit which has set a pace both in industrial development - and welfare sectors which is most confidence giving. And sure, the management of this outfit has been most prudent to have developed to such an extent from almost a scratch over such a short time.
It is heartening that the foundation has in its pipeline still higher goals - and diverse investment which I am sure will be equally profitable as the previous investments have been. I wish the outfit a success in the multifarious ventures of the Foundation.