Amid controversies following the recent videos by security personnel, complaining about the low quality of food and near starvation they face, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat, today urged Indian army jawans to raise complaints internally, instead of selecting social media as the platform to outburst their grievances. Addressing the media for the first time the newly appointed Army Chief had asked his troop to directly communicate with him through the ‘suggestion cum grievances’ box, which will be set up soon.
Addressing the media Gen Rawat said, “Through the media, I wish to reach out to the rank and file of the Army. Whatever complaint they should have, they can address it through the excellent grievance redressal mechanism we have. Anyone irrespective of rank and service can reach out to me directly. We want them to come directly to us rather than through social media.”
His remarks came a day after an army jawan posted a video on social media criticizing the use of soldiers as ‘sahayaks’ of the officers. BSF constable Tej Bahadur Yadav posted a video on January 8 saying, “we don’t want to blame any government because all governments provide us with everything but some senior officials sell them off. The situation is such that we have to sometimes sleep on empty stomachs.”
However, Gen Rawat made it clear that ‘sahayak’ or ‘buddy’ system is very important part of the army but he is in talks with the government to look at the possibility of doing it away in peace stations. He said that army personnel, rather than indirectly communicating their grievances, should use the “excellent” grievances redressal system existing in the force. Gen Rawat described social media as a “two-sided” weapon which can be used favorable but can also be detrimental.
“I would like to announce that I have issued orders that in every army headquarters, we will have a chief of army staff suggestion-cum-grievance box placed at various places. We will follow suit with similar COAS redressal-cum-suggestion boxes being placed at command headquarters and then subsequently to lower formation,” he said addressing his annual press conference here.
Assuring full confidentiality, the Army chief said anyone, irrespective of ranks or service, can use this mechanism to put whatever they wish to write into these letter boxes so that grievances can reach him directly.
(With inputs from agencies)