The Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) supports Indian Army families through welfare services, health initiatives, and empowerment programs. Established in 1966, AWWA plays a vital role in enhancing the well-being of military families across India.

The Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) is a prominent Indian non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of the spouses, children, and dependents of Indian Army personnel. Established in 1966, AWWA has grown to become one of the largest NGOs in India, providing a broad range of support services aimed at improving the lives of military families. Mrs. Sunita Dwivedi, the wife of General Upendra Dwivedi, currently serves as the President of AWWA. The organization is often referred to as the “invisible hand that shapes the punch of the Indian Army,” highlighting its vital role in supporting military families.

 AWWA’s Structure and Beneficiaries

While all army wives are beneficiaries of AWWA, the organization’s functional presence is primarily at the Corps level and higher, with Family Welfare Organizations (FWOs) managing activities below the Corps level. This structure allows Army Wives Welfare Association to efficiently address the needs of military families across different regions and ranks within the Army.

 Aims and Mission of AWWA

The primary mission of AWWA is to support and augment the official welfare efforts within the Indian Army. The organization prioritizes the well-being of families, children, and widows across all military ranks, including retired personnel. Their dedicated efforts ensure that no one is left behind, and support reaches those who have served our nation selflessly By ensuring the well-being of soldiers’ families, AWWA helps maintain the morale and efficiency of the troops, who can perform their duties more effectively knowing their loved ones are cared for.

 Rehabilitation of Widows: A Core Focus

One of AWWA’s most critical roles is the rehabilitation of war widows, referred to as Veer Naris. Each year, approximately 1,200 new widows join the organization’s fold due to the inherent risks of military service. While the Indian Army takes care of their financial dues and pensions, Army Wives Welfare Association provides essential emotional and moral support to help them cope with their loss and address any concerns they may have. This support ensures that no army widow feels abandoned at any point in time.


 How AWWA Supports Veer Naris:

1. Ex-Gratia Payment: Army Wives Welfare Association makes an immediate ex-gratia payment of Rs 15,000/- to Veer Nari upon the death of her spouse.

2. Geographical Adoption: The Veer Nari is often adopted by a geographically co-located army unit, which looks after her needs, with the first lady of the unit taking the lead.

3. Regular Outreach: Army Wives Welfare Association maintains records of Veer Naris and regularly reaches out to them, especially during casualties.

4. Awareness and Mediation: The organization educates Veer Naris about their dues and benefits and acts as a mediator between them and the official army setup.

5. Social Inclusion: Veer Naris are invited to Army Wives Welfare Association functions, regimental reunions, and other important events.

6. Health Camps: Regular health camps are organized for Veer Naris.

7. Educational and Marriage Grants: AWWA provides education grants and lump-sum marriage grants for the daughters of Veer Naris.

8. Employment Opportunities: Preference is given to Veer Naris and their children for job vacancies within AWWA ventures.

 Promoting Health Awareness and Well-Being

AWWA is dedicated to creating a health-conscious community that embraces a healthy lifestyle. The organization promotes physical, mental, and emotional well-being among its members and encourages environment-friendly practices.


 Health Initiatives by AWWA:

1. Awareness Campaigns: AWWA and FWOs conduct lectures, seminars, talks, and street plays to raise awareness about lifestyle diseases.

2. Physical Activities: The organization organizes nature walks, marathons, aerobics, yoga, and Zumba classes.

3. Government Initiatives: AWWA participates in national drives like the Pulse Polio Drive and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

4. Health Camps: Regular health camps are organized for members.

5. Counselling Services: Counselling is provided for cases of marital discord and domestic violence.

6. Environmental Awareness: AWWA promotes the judicious use of water and electricity and encourages waste segregation and home composting.

7. Patient Welfare: The organization is involved in patient welfare in military hospitals.

8. Pregnancy and Childcare: AWWA sensitizes members on pregnancy and early childcare.

9. Inclusive Education: It supports parents of children with learning difficulties and promotes inclusive education.


 Educational Initiatives

Given the frequent relocations and extended separations inherent in military life, AWWA is committed to making military wives self-reliant and helping them thrive in their respective locations.

 Educational Programs by Army Wives Welfare Association:

1. Vocational Training Centres (VTCs): VTCs across military stations offer short courses such as Nursery Teachers’ Training, Beautician, and Tailoring courses.

2. Army Skill Training Centres (ASTCs): Under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, ASTCs offer government-recognized and funded courses.

3. ASHA Schools: AWWA runs 37 ASHA schools for special children nationwide.

4. Vocational Training for Special Children: Wishwas, a vocational training institute for special children, operates under Army Wives Welfare Association.

5. Inclusive Education Support: AWWA supports inclusive education in Army schools and funds resource rooms.

6. Hobby Courses: In many stations, AWWA runs hobby courses for women and children.

7. Driving Schools: Driving schools for women are operated by Army Wives Welfare Association.

8. Life Skills Training: AWWA provides training on operating bank accounts, ATM cards, and booking railway tickets.


 Empowerment Efforts

AWWA is committed to nurturing the talents of its members and creating opportunities for learning and earning, particularly for Veer Naris and their dependents.

 Empowerment Initiatives by Army Wives Welfare Association:

1. Employment Opportunities: Army Wives Welfare Association runs outlets and beauty parlors in military stations, providing employment opportunities for Veer Naris and vocational training graduates.

2. Women’s Hostels: The organization runs hostels in larger stations to facilitate higher education for army daughters.

3. Educational Grants and Scholarships: Annual education grants and one-time scholarships are provided to widows and their children.

4. Marriage Grants and Sewing Machines: Army Wives Welfare Association gives marriage grants and sewing machines to widows of severely disabled soldiers.

5. Recognition and Awards: The organization recognizes and awards good service among its members and academic excellence among school children.

6. Disaster Relief: Army Wives Welfare Association contributes to national disaster relief efforts when needed.

Click here to read about Financial help for vocational training of widows of ESM


AWWA’s comprehensive support system plays a crucial role in enhancing the welfare of army families, ensuring that soldiers can serve the nation with peace of mind. Through its various initiatives in rehabilitation, health awareness, education, and empowerment, AWWA continues to uphold its mission of caring for the families who stand behind the brave soldiers of the Indian Army.

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