BHOPAL: The home guards who are recruited to enforce national lockdown have been kept away from the services. They are struggling hard to get work of 12 months in place of 10 months. According to HG manual, home guards are volunteers and are entitle to get work for 10 months in a year.
From February, a ‘call off, call out’ system was introduced under which 2,000 home guards were told to submit their service kit for coming two months beginning from March.
At present, district and police administration are taking help of social organisation to maintain the supply of the essential items in the state, which is under lockdown. On the other hand, the trained home guards are told to sit at home because state government doesn’t have budget to give their salary.
The ‘call off, call out’ system relates to budget. The department gets Rs 300 crore in a year. The department needs Rs 260 crore to pay salaries to home guards for 10 months and to pay the salary for 12 months, it needs more funds.
Because the state government is not giving them salaries of two months, the home guards borrow money to run their families. As they are ‘service class people’ they cannot stand in the queue to take free ration. The money lenders face problem as to how will they recover their money loaned out to home guards.
The functions of home guards include serving as auxillary to police, help in maintaining internal security, serve community during emergency like lockdowns, natural disasters. They also function as an emergency force intended for special tasks directly or indirectly connected with defence of the country. Their other functions are to maintain essential services such as motor transport, fire brigade, first aid etc.