New Delhi : Army chief General Bipin Rawat has ordered recruitment of 10,000 civilians to be provided as ‘buddies’ or ‘sahayaks’ to the officers posted in the peace locations to help them in their official work.
This will put an end to the complaint of the combat soldiers being engaged at officers” home for domestic duties.
The ‘buddy’ system of engaging the soldiers will, however, continue in the field areas as it is important for functioning of the Army officers without bothering about routine things.
As such three-fourth of the 40,000 soldiers put on the ‘buddy’ duties will still continue to serve the officers, but they would not be seen serving in such positions in the peace locations.
Units deployed in places like Delhi but which are parts of the fighting formation like the Infantry battalions will continue to use the combat soldiers as ‘sahayaks’ since they have to move into field areas for months during the exercises in Punjab and Rajasthan at regular intervals, the sources said.
Buddy system is a colonial practice of putting the combat soldiers as orderlies or ‘sahayaks’ to polish boots and maintain uniforms of the officers and the junior commissioned officers.
Following controversies kicked up by the soldiers resorting to social media, a directive has been already issued to the officers to ensure dignity of the jawans and not to use them for looking after pets and children or washing private cars and watering their gardens.