BSF troops' suicides: Commission research to study reasons, find solutions
(Sourced from PTI)
Border Security Force (BSF) has initiated a maiden research project to analyze various triggers behind suicides by its troops and to formulate an action plan to reduce these instances. BSF Director General (DG) KK Sharma said they will also introduce a wellness quotient assessment test in about 2.5 lakh personnel-strong paramilitary after a pilot project launched on the subject last year was successful.
As per the official data, a total of 173 BSF personnel have committed suicide in the last five years while 11 such deaths have happened this year. The jawans of the force are deployed for long stints in inhospitable and harsh climate areas along the Indo-Pak and Indo-Bangla borders, where they cannot keep their families for years together.
The BSF chief said the wellness quotient assessment test will now be linked to the annual medical test of jawans and officers. "The aim of the project was to detect early traits and trends. Out of a few thousand people who were examined (during the pilot project), hardly a dozen have been identified as those who are high-risk prone," he added.
Once a person has been identified who is under tremendous depression, then we don't give them any duty with arms as they may harm themselves or someone else. "Secondly, that person is counseled and if they need medication then they are sent to a trained psychiatrist," the DG said. Also, a directive has also been issued to "tighten" the procedure of the officer-jawan interaction.
Officers are instructed to spend some time with personnel, especially when they return from leave. "We found that in 80% suicides, it happened soon after a person had come back from leave. There is domestic issue that is playing on the person's mind and when he is alone on duty he takes the extreme step," Sharma said, adding that 50% of them are unmarried.