Why are Indian soldiers victimised by depression, suicides? BSF turns counselor

New Delhi: Not just the common man but security forces guarding us are also susceptible to conditions like stress, depression and suicides.

We might easily find access to therapies and counselors but for them, it is very hard as they do not live in ideal conditions as the common public. 

In order to curb these conditions, the country’s largest border-guarding force BSF has launched two ambitious projects for its jawans and has introduced a ‘wellness quotient assessment’ test in their annual medical checkup.

The about 2.65-lakh personnel strong force, tasked to secure the two most important Indian borders along Pakistan and Bangladesh, has earmarked select troops locations, men and women for the conduct of the maiden and scientifically prepared pilot projects.

BSF Director General K K Sharma, in an interview to PTI, said he has initiated the projects with a concern to reduce such instances in the force on a priority basis.

“It is true that deaths due to heart attacks, suicides and accidents have killed more troops than in operations in the past. But, as far as suicides is concerned, this number has come down due to a number of steps we have taken and a number of capsule courses on stress management that were started.

“We are doing some new things now, so that there is an early identification of such personnel (who are in stress or in trouble) and such instances are reduced to the best extent possible,” the BSF DG said.

What we have launched recently is a ‘wellness quotient assessment test’, the DG said, adding it is a multi-point questionnaire which is being “linked” to the annual medical test of jawans and officers.

Sharma, a 1982-batch IPS officer, said under this pilot project, troops will have to reply to a variety of questions relating to a various life situations, challenges and conditions and these questions have been prepared by expert mental counsellors and doctors.

The test is aimed to identify those troops who need help or counseling.

(With PTI inputs)