Indian army, the second largest army (with 1.13 million soldiers and officer) in the world after china is facing problem of STRESS among its officers and soldiers. Many of its officers and soldiers are committing suicide or they attack their colleagues and seniors. In such incidents army lost twice the number of soldiers compared to dies in action /battle field.
Soldiers are stressed because of relentless counter-insurgency operations, posting in far flung areas of J&K, North East on bayonet edge. They have to fight with heavily armed militants and don’t get proper sleep/rest followed by lack basic amenities, poor accommodation facilities and very little salary. They also feel helpless to solve their problems faced by their due to their posting at far-flung areas. Seniors themselves takes the leave, enjoy good facilities and other benefits while soldiers are even not getting a part of it.
Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR) study says denial of leave, humiliation and harassment by seniors, absence of leaders. Currently Army is facing leadership crisis at middle level because an average middle Indian gets the double starting salary compared to the salary of Army personnels.
To overcome the stress problem DIFR recommended that the psychologist to soldier ratio should be at least 1 : 1000 and as a long term step separate cadre of psychologists should be created in army.
As of now soldiers are allowed to frequency call their families regularly and list of Do’s and Don’ts to also handle psychological problems.
Company commanders had also been given manual which will help them to identify soldiers who are stressed.
Army says that it is a “testing time” for the force and it will pass because foundations are strong.