Military Veterans Need Old Age Homes

Vikram Karve
3 min readDec 9, 2020


AWHO and AFNHB must build Old Age Homes Instead of Houses

Musings by Veteran VIKRAM KARVE


Sometime in the 1970’s — the Army started a residential housing scheme for Army Personnel and Veterans under the aegis of Army Welfare Housing Organization (AWHO).

In the true spirit of “jointmanship” — the Army had excluded the other two sister services from the AWHO.

(Navy and AirForce Personnel and Veterans were not entitled to buy residential houses from AWHO which was exclusively for Army Veterans)

So — the Navy and Air Force started a similar scheme for Navy and Air Force Personnel and Veterans called Air Force Naval Housing Board (AFNHB).

These two housing schemes were meant exclusively for Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans.

(AWHO for Army Personnel and Veterans and — AFNHB for Navy and Air Force Personnel and Veterans)

Sometime ago — I happened to visit one such “fauji” housing complex and found a large number of civilians inside.

I asked my friend who lives there why there were so many civilians in a housing scheme meant exclusively for Defence Personnel, serving and retired.

My friend said:

“This complex is more than 30 years old — so many of the original allottees have since died — and their houses have been inherited by their children.

As you know very few “army brats” join the army now-a-days and they prefer to work in the civilian world — so many of the civilians you see are kids of erstwhile “fauji” owners.

Many “army brats” are settled abroad or work in other cities — so they have given their houses to civilians on rent — since civilians give higher rent.

Gradually — as the old “faujis” die — their civilian children will inherit their houses — and this will become a civilian colony.

In due course of time — this “fauji” colony will actually become a civilian housing colony and will be “fauji” only in name…”


So — in effect — are AWHO and AFHNB building houses for civilians…?

This seems to be true at least in the long term — when most AWHO and AFNHB houses will be inherited by civilians — and these erstwhile Military Veteran Housing Complexes will become civilian residential colonies.

Hence — I think it would be better if AWHO and AFNHB build Old Age Homes instead of houses.

These old age homes can be allotted to senior citizen Military Veterans on monthly rental basis till they die.

At least — this way — the ownership will remain with the military and a larger number of needy ex-servicemen will benefit.

In any case — children of most military veterans are settled abroad — and even those who live in India are busy with their careers and may not live with their military veteran parents.

The needs of Veteran Defence Personnel abandoned by their children in old age will be better served by Old Age Homes with various concomitant geriatric facilities like Assisted Living, Medical Care, ECHS, Hospitals, CSD etc.

So — does it not make sense to scrap the existing AWHO and AFNHB and create a Defence Services Old Age Home Scheme (DSOAHS) covering all the three Defence Services…?

Let the Armed Forces stop building houses and start building Old Age Homes for Military Veterans (ExServicemen).

This will give Veterans a sense of security in their old age.

Do you agree…?



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Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, alumnus IIT Delhi, Lawrence School Lovedale, Vikram Karve is a retired Navy Officer turned full time Writer and Blogger