Joint Accounts, Add-On ATM Cards: SAF Commandant Empowers Women

Joint Accounts, Add-On ATM Cards: SAF Commandant Empowers Women

Jawans used to blow up money on liquor, neglect family needs

RAJESH THAKURUpdated: Friday, March 08, 2024, 12:18 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The wives of all ranks of the Bhopal-based 7th battalion of the Special Armed Force (SAF) now have access to their husbands' salary accounts

And this has become possible due to an initiative by the commandant of the battalion. He simply decided to withhold the salaries of personnel who hadn't given the right to their wives to withdraw money from their accounts. The decision of Atul Singh, the commandant, might fall in the grey area of the law but it has definitely brought a smile on the faces of the families of his jawans.

Talking with Free Press, Singh said for some time, he was receiving complaints from the wives of the jawans that their hubbies were blowing up a major portion of their salaries on alcohol. They were also splurging money on frivolities and were not taking them into confidence while making purchase decisions.

That, the women complained, was affecting the running of their households and they were finding it difficult to meet the basic needs of their families. In short, the men were not providing for them and their children.

The commandant asked all the married ranks to make their wives joint holders of their bank accounts in which their salaries were credited and get an add-on debit-cum-ATM card issued in their names. That way, the wives would be able to withdraw money from the accounts and would not be dependent on their husbands for cash, went his reasoning.

The commandant warned that those who don't comply will have to face the music. And the cop walked the talk. In March, he stopped payment of salaries of the men who did not fall in line.

There were inevitable murmurs of protests. "How can he do it when there is no such rule?" "How can a rule be selectively imposed only in one battalion?" it was asked. Complaints were also made to the higher-ups.

But the commandant stood his ground. And ultimately, he had his way. Wives of only 300 of the 900 married men in the battalion, had joint accounts with their husbands before he decided to empower the women. Now, all the 900 ranks have got the names of their wives added to their bank accounts as joint holders and have also got add-on ATM cards issued for the use of their better halves.

The wives are happy and so is the commandant. As for the men, they have accepted the inevitable.

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