8888677771 | Do social service on leave, be ambassadors for nation-building: Army to its soldiers | India News

The Army wants its troops to take part in social service while they are on leave to enhance “nation-building efforts”.

Starting this month, all Army formations across the country are expected to provide feedback on this effort every quarter.

A letter to this effect, addressed to all Command Headquarters, was issued in May by the Ceremonials and Welfare Directorate of the Adjutant General’s Branch of Army Headquarters.

The letter lays emphasis on gainfully utilising the time which soldiers spend on leave in order to perform various social service duties — these have been suggested in an annexure to the letter.

“It is recommended that every soldier proceeding on leave volunteers to choose any subject/domain as per own interest/competency and the felt need of one’s local community and engages citizens, thereby making an individual contribution to the Indian Army’s nation-building effort,” the letter stated.

The directive goes on to say that while the aim of granting leave to soldiers is to enable an individual to spend time with his family and address personal commitments, adequate scope exists to gainfully utilise the time spent on leave to engage with the local community in a constructive manner.

“Each soldier of the Indian Army possesses a unique resume, based on individual qualities, skill sets and service imbibed character and value system. Our human resource pool, has a pan India footprint, comprising diverse areas and communities, with the majority hailing from a rural background. This connect with the society can be meaningfully leveraged for augmenting our national-building efforts, by impacting lives of citizens and local communities, by our personnel, while on leave,” it states.

Army units and formations have been asked to empower and equip these “soldier ambassadors” with structured literature and enabling content, for an effective and meaningful soldier – community interaction and engagement.

“This initiative shall be implemented with immediate effect and feedback forwarded by all Commands, every quarter, w.e.f. Sep 2023,” the letter stated.

It is learnt that the Army Training Command in Shimla is preparing scripts on subjects which soldiers will carry when they are on leave and use in social service exercise.

The various suggestions made for troops to contribute socially while on leave includes interaction with members of the local community to brief them on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Ucchtar Shiksha Abhiyan, SAKSHAM, Samagra Shiksha, Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan, Ayushman Bharat Yojana, Jan Aushadhi Kendra etc.

Other topics that can be taken up with local communities are benefits of insurance schemes like National Pension Scheme (NPS), Atal Pension Yojana, livestock insurance, Rashtiya Swasth Bima Yojana, Deendayal Gramin Kaushalya Yojana, Gram Jyoti Yojana, etc.

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Lectures can also be delivered at government primary schools on topics like the meaning of country, national anthem and flag, importance of education, road safety and traffic rules, role of elders and teachers, cleanliness and hygiene etc. Soldiers can also help the elderly in government offices with the paperwork, take part in shramdaan in old age homes and participate in or organise blood donation camps.

Army sources said that since an Indian Army soldier has a wide-angled view of the country by virtue of having served across its length and breadth, this enables a unique perspective wherein he/she observes developments across the country vis-a-vis the locals of his/her village.

“Accordingly, he/she is in a position to positively contribute towards efforts of development, nation building and national integration by recounting from own experience. He/she can promote awareness amongst the local population and provide a correct perspective on various issues. The effort is completely voluntary,” the sources said.

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