When on leave... do social service, promote govt schemes: Army advises jawans
The army is encouraging its soldiers to undertake social service during leave, and contribute to the organisation’s nation-building effort.
The army is encouraging its soldiers to undertake social service during leave, and contribute to the organisation’s nation-building effort, while suggesting a range of activities they can participate in, officials aware of the matter said on Sunday.
These activities include educating the local communities about schemes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan; and delivering talks in primary schools on diverse subjects ranging from hygiene and cleanliness to road safety and the meaning of country, the officials said.
The army’s ceremonials and welfare directorate under the adjutant general’s branch made the recommendation on soldiers utilising their leave and contributing to nation building in May in a letter addressed to all command headquarters.
It is recommended that every soldier proceeding on leave volunteers to choose any subject based on his interest and the need of his local community and engages citizens, making an individual contribution to the army’s nation-building effort, the letter said, according to the officials. The local formations have been asked to provide feedback on this every quarter.
The letter states that every soldier possesses unique individual qualities and skill sets, the army’s human resource pool has a pan-India footprint, they are from diverse areas and communities with the majority hailing from a rural background; and this connect with society can be meaningfully leveraged for augmenting nation-building efforts.
The letter has turned the attention on whether soldiers, who often serve in tough conditions, will have enough time for pursuing such activities, given the responsibilities they have to shoulder.
The letter said while the objective of granting leave to soldiers is to allow them to spend time with their families and address other personal commitments, there is adequate scope to engage with the local communities too.
“Soldiers should and do contribute to nation-building and the well-being of their local communities. However, it is critical that the district administration and police show empathy and address the many issues faced by them and resolve their grievances. This will allow them to devote more time and energy to the desired social service,” said military affairs expert Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia (retd).
Local formations have been asked to provide the soldiers on leave with literature and other material for having a meaningful interaction with the community, the officials said. The Shimla-based Army Training Command is putting together material that soldiers can carry with them for performing social service.
Explaining the rationale behind the move and calling effort voluntary, the officials said that soldiers have a unique perspective of the country as they have served across it, and this puts them in a position to contribute towards nation building and national integration.