The widows of ex-servicemen (ESM) face many challenges and hardships after the loss of their husbands. They often struggle to find a source of income and support themselves and their families. To help them overcome these difficulties and become self-reliant, the Kendriya Sainik Board (KSB) provides financial assistance for the vocational training of widows of ESM. This article will explain the background, aim, eligibility, and procedure of this scheme.


The scheme to provide financial assistance for vocational training of widows of ESM was started in May 2007 with a one-time grant of Rs 20,000/-. The purpose of this scheme is to enable the widows of ESM to acquire some vocational skills that can help them find employment and earn a livelihood. Depending on their educational level and aptitude, the widows can choose to undergo the requisite vocational training at any recognised vocational training institution run by Rajya Sainik Board (RSB), Zila Sainik Board (ZSB), state government, or private institutions like the Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) and the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT).


This scheme aims to provide financial assistance to a widow to settle in life through vocational training. The amount of assistance is Rs.50,000/- (max) which is given as a one-time aid on successful completion of the vocational training. The assistance is given out of Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF) which is a corpus fund created by voluntary donations from the public and the armed forces personnel.


The following criteria must be fulfilled to avail the financial assistance for vocational training of widows of ESM:

  • The applicant must be a widow of an ESM of rank up to Havildar or equivalent.
  • The service book of the ESM should have relevant entries about the spouse of the ESM.
  • The widow should have completed the vocational training from a recognized institution.
  • The widow should be recommended by the respective Zila Sainik Board (ZSB) and Rajya Sainik Board (RSB).
  • The widow should be gainfully employed after the vocational training as certified by the ZILA SAINIK WELFARE OFFICER (ZSWO).


The application for financial assistance for vocational training of widows of ESM should be made on the prescribed application format with the recommendation of the respective ZSWO on it. Copies of the following documents duly attested by the ZSWO must accompany the application:

  • Complete Service Discharge Certificate/Book of the ESM.
  • Copy of Widow Identity Card issued by the ZSB/RSB.
  • Certificate from the vocational training institute after completion of the training.
  • Certificate from the ZSWO that the widow is gainfully employed after the vocational training.
  • Details of Bank Account Number (in PNB/SBI only) and IFS Code of the widow.

The application must be submitted by the eligible widow at the respective ZSB. The ZSWO will scrutinize the application and if found correct in all respects will forward it (hard copy as well as in digital format) along with other applications every year, in July, direct to the KSB Secretariat for payment. Old cases are not entertained.


On receipt in the Welfare Section of the KSB Secretariat, the applications will be filed in order of their receipt. The Section-in-Charge will assign these applications to a particular clerk who will enter the desired data from the applications onto the computer. Another clerk will be designated to check the correctness of the entries. The Section-in-Charge will verify the same and put up the printed list to the Joint Director (Welfare) for approval. The applications will be moved for sanction of the competent authority in one lot, preferably every quarter.

After approval of the competent authority, the applications will be processed for payment by the Welfare Section. After verifying the ESM’s Service Number, Name, Bank Account Number, And IFS Code, the Welfare Section will forward the list for payment to the Accounts Section, which will make the payments directly to the beneficiaries as per the availability of funds.


The financial assistance for vocational training of widows of ESM is a noble initiative by the KSB to empower the widows of ESM and help them lead a dignified and independent life. The scheme is a gesture of gratitude and respect for the sacrifices made by the ESM and their families for the nation. The widows of ESM who are eligible and interested in availing of this scheme should contact their nearest ZSB/RSB for more details and guidance. 

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