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“Issues raised by jawans on social media ‘individual’

New Delhi: In the wake of a few security personnel taking to social media to ventilate their grievances, the government today said their concerns appeared to be “individual” in nature and do not reflect the collective view.

A number of videos were uploaded online recently by troops of army, IAF and central police forces complaining about the conditions they work in, “poor” quality of food and alleged ill-treatment meted out to them by seniors.

“Videos of two soldiers of army with reference to their grievances were circulated on social media. These appear to be individual view of the soldiers concerned and do not reflect the collective feedback received through multiple channels,” MoS Defence Subhash Bhamre said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

He said there is a well-laid down mechanism for feedback/ redressal of grievances in armed forces starting from daily roll calls where their concerns can be addressed to Company Commanders.

“The CO of the unit collectively addresses through a Sainik Sammelan at least once a month and resolves the problems faced by jawans.

“Also, each solider is personally interviewed by the CO every time the individual proceeds on leave, temporary duty and returns to the unit. Soldiers can, at their will, seek audience of the Commanding Officer/Commanders in chain for redressal of their grievances,” Bhambre said.

Replying to another question, the minister said that apart from sainik sammelans, other “informal” mechanisms for redressal of grievances in armed forces include personal interviews, suggestion boxes, open forum on Air Force Internet among others.

The army has also set up a WhatsApp number — +91 9643300008 — for soldiers to post their problems directly to Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat instead of taking to social media directly.

Bhamre said a direct feedback from troops on quality of rations is also compiled on quarterly basis by Formation Headquarters and the same is pursued at the highest level.

Besides, a web-based Centralised Grievances Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) has been designed and implemented in all ministries, including the Ministry of Defence, he said.