Tribune News Service New Delhi, March 4, 2010
A Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence today asked the Indian Army to abolish the “colonial” practice of employing jawans as sahayaks of officers. It also expressed "strong displeasure" over the Defence Ministry's procedure to assess the exact level of indigenisation achieved by its production agencies to manufacture equipment.
On sahayaks, the committee asked the Army to abolish the "demeaning and humiliating" system. In an action taken report tabled in both the Houses of the Parliament, the committee said it was unable to comprehend why it was necessary to continue with the sahayak system that "lowers the self-esteem of a jawan" when the Navy and Air force have abandoned it.
Several jawans were engaged at the residence of senior officers for domestic work and to serve the family members of officers. In reply, to the committee's suggestion, the Defence Ministry had said a sahayak was "a comrade-in-arms" to officers.
The Army has issued instructions to its units to ensure that combatant soldiers were under no circumstances be employed on a job not in conformity with the dignity and self-respect of a soldier.
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