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Sahayak scrap cry

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 5.03.10

New Delhi, March 4 (PTI): A parliamentary committee on defence today asked the army to take a leaf out of the navy and the air force to abolish the “demeaning and humiliating” practice of employing jawans as sahayaks of officers.

The recommendation comes after the defence ministry in its reply to a 2008 report on “stress management in the armed forces” rejected the suggestion that the sahayak system be done away with.

In an action-taken report tabled in both the Houses of Parliament, the committee said it was unable to comprehend why it was necessary to continue with the system that “lowers the self-esteem of a jawan” when the navy and air force had abandoned it.

”The committee is not able to understand the necessity of having the services of sahayaks by the Army officers particularly when the sister services, Navy and Air Force, have abandoned the practice,” the committee said.

While reiterating its earlier recommendations, the committee said it desired that the Army should follow the examples set by their counterparts in the Navy and the Air Force and stop the colonial practice with immediate effect.

The committee had in its earlier report noted that the sahayak system had been prevalent in the Army in one form or the other since the British days and that numerous jawans were engaged at the residence of senior officers for domestic work and to serve the family members of officers.