Monday, February 25, 2008

Travails of ESM

Whatever may be the claims of the Army authorities and the civil administration regarding the rehabilitation and welfare of ESM, the former soldiers are at the mercy of private security agencies when it comes to getting a job.
The attitude of the political parties is also apathetic. The ESM are being hired on a contract basis for peanuts, at about Rs 2,500 per month, is outrageous.

Full story at ESM a Harried Lot

The same status prevails in all the 28 States and 7 Union Territories of India. Ninety Five percent of ESM are simple Jawans, after having served in the Armed Forces for approximately 20 years, are literally taken for ride in the civilian Job Market. The pittance paid to a honourable Soldier is despicable and the current trend needs to to be corrected. The guidelines laid down for employment of ESM, as security personnel, are flouted at all levels. The enforcing agencies have no teeth nor clout to deal with the erring State Governments. The monitoring and overseeing agency DGR should be armed with constitutional powers to streamline and reduce dishonour being meted (if not showered) to our Jawans. The outfit, attire and gear worn by Jawans employed by Security Agencies is comical at times. These are the reasons for general slide of Military prestige amongst civilian population. Can we set this straight?
On the other hand States are vying to give cash handouts to gallantry award winners ranging from mere Rs 15,000 to lavish Rs 15 lakhs (hundredfold jump). It certainly does bring out the competitive spirit amongst states, but at the expense of uniform evaluation of courage and sacrifice. This has utterly baffled and perplexed the authorities of the Armed Forces! Are the states playing truant to outwit each other or is it a political gimmick, or is it truly out of genuine concern for the welfare of the courageous Jawan. How can each State Government's magnanimity be made more meaningful if not uniform?

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