The 7th CPC – Have the Defence Forces been Compensated Adequately?
The 7th CPC report was tabled on 19 Nov 15. I am not going to go into the nitty-gritty of the 899 page report. Everything is available in the public domain and every expert is giving varied views. You too can form your own opinion if it is justified, satisfactory, affordable to the nation etc. etc.
Today I will touch upon just one aspect of the sacrifice that these brave men/ women are subjected to. And my question is –Have the Defence Forces been Compensated adequately to cover their sacrifices? Just a moment, I am NOT going to talk about the Ultimate Sacrifice which, just a day earlier was paid by a brother, Col Santosh Mahadik, SM, which is the Ultimate Sacrifice. That is a topic by itself. Then what is it that I am going to write about?
Are you aware, that it is NOT only the man who opts for the Defence Forces sacrifices for the nation but his entire family too sacrifices as much. But this is strangely not visible to the world. Let me explain.
Military personnel are posted to remote locations and many of them have some family accommodation. These are called modified field areas. The standard of schools aren’t that great. The teachers are just average and many times, wives of these personnel themselves have to teach for want of better teachers locally. The posting every two years results in their kids being forced to go to a different school each time. The kids suffer because of this. What happens in the long run? They lose out on stability, they lose out on good schools, they lose out on better teachers. They lose out on having a good base in core subjects. When they reach higher classes and board exams they lose out big time to other kids who have had a steady schooling in the best schools with best teachers and good tutors. Hence these kids with great potential, wonderful grooming, and excellent manners stand nowhere to the competition, and end up getting placed much lesser as compared to their true potential. So hasn’t the child sacrificed along with his Father? Who compensates the child?
Let us talk about the Lady. She stays in makeshift accommodation, looks after her kids with whatever is available locally, lives within the means provided by her husband’s pay. Her education, her potential, her abilities have no avenues for her professional growth. In the end some just end up teaching in the local schools, paid much below that what she could have otherwise earned or progressed in life economically and professionally. Expressed in business terminology, her Opportunity Loss is far greater and cant be quantified. Isn’t she sacrificing her life along with her husband? Who compensates the Lady?
Do you think the Military Service Pay (MSP) – the only differentiator between those serving in Armed forces and outside, adequately caters to these loses and sacrifices? And how much is the MSP? It was just 6000 rupees for officers and 2000 for Soldiers in the 6th Pay Commission. Yes a mere few thousands. Some of our maids and drivers get paid more. How much would it be in the 7th CPC? It will now be Rs 15500 for offrs and 5200 for Soldiers. We will know exactly how much it would be, when the Govt approves it. I can tell you from my experience that even with the new MSP, it can’t even fetch a good Tutor for the child in higher classes to compensate for the life time losses the child has suffered due to their father’s postings.
Are we as a Nation not short changing the man and his family just because he is ready to sacrifice his entire life for us. Just because he can’t speak his feelings as he is duty bound by a Defence law which has taken away his Right to Speech. No wonder, today you see old soldiers agitating on the streets for their rights. It is not about money, it is their pent up emotions after realizing that they have been short-changed through out their entire lifetime.
Think. What would you have done? Is your family’s lifetime sacrifices worth just a mere few thousand rupees. Please speak out to support the Forces, Express yourselves in the social media, whenever you can, from where you can. And lastly, Keep them in your thoughts and prayers. That is a way we can do out bit for these brave hearts. And my question to You is – Won’t You?