Defence personnel

The nation will be greatly distressed on knowing that during the year 2014 alone there have been 108 cases of suicide of defence personnel, 84 from Army and 24 from Air Force. These figures are highly depressing. Can we afford this enormous loss when we know that recruitment in Army and Air Force, especially in officer cadres, is not to our satisfaction? We know that the Army has instituted enquiry into the reasons of suicides by personnel but so far only vague reasons are given. Among these are long deployment, domestic problems, individual grievances and inability to withstand the stress and strain of active life. There could be reasons other than these and, hopefully, research conducted by the Amy may yield new and serious reasons.
However, we feel that better and closer liaison between the jawans and their officers and their frequent interaction through various mechanisms could be a method by which officers and seniors can make subtle study of the mind of the jawans to pinpoint what disturbs their mind and causes imbalance. A stitch in time saves nine is the old axiom. Any jawans suspected of slight imbalance could be given special psychological treatment. There could be a small team of psychiatrist in each battalion or squadron keeping regular record of the behaviour of the jawans and reacting to their psyche. It is also advisable to shorten the tenure of deployment especially in inhospitable zones. We think that increasing the frequency of recreational and entertainment activities should be recommended to remove boredom of active life. Above all, very close socialization on cultural, social and individual levels would be good enough to keep the wolf out of the garden.

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