New Delhi: In a first of its kind scheme to reach out and help lakhs of its troops, country`s second largest paramilitary force BSF has decided to observe 2013 as the `Year of the Jawan`.
During the year, better healthcare and financial services would be provided to these men and women guarding strategic Indian frontiers, a senior Border Security Force officer said.
The jawans and families of the border guarding force will be given priority loans for education of children while all construction work in forward posts will be done first for the jawans and then for the officers.
Meritorious children of the troopers will now get scholarships sponsored by the force headquarters similar to the Prime Minister`s scholarship for wards of central paramilitary forces.
Strict orders for compliance have been issued by the BSF chief and Director General Subhash Joshi making it mandatory that 50 per cent of the welfare funds be kept for jawans.
Under the new scheme, for the 2.45-lakh strong force, BSF will prioritise construction of barracks, cook houses and family quarters of these jawans both at forward locations and at the battalion centres.
As per the blueprint of the `Year of the Jawan`, circulated by the force headquarters here to its locations along Pakistan and Bangladesh borders and Naxal affected zones, a minimum 50 per cent of rewards will be ensured for personnel deployed at border posts and forward locations.
"Advance funds to various BSF units will be provided for medical treatment of jawans and their families. Senior officials have been asked to keep a track of these programmes and submit quarterly reports to the force headquarters," a senior official said.
This is for the first time that schemes in the BSF are
being implemented with a focus on jawans who form the backbone of the paramilitary force and render hard duties on the borders and in various parts of the country.
The force has also organised a `Pension Adalat` at its headquarters here for the first time where post-retirement issues of jawans will be addressed by authorities.
While a number of policy measures have been initiated, the official said, the force has also begun a soft approach for the jawans as it has begun giving them calendar and diaries.
"A jawan sitting at a remote post along the borders or in the North East craves for nothing but only affection and support. Through all these measures we want to ensure that we are with him at all times," another official in the welfare unit of the force said.
Once a year, a jawan posted at a forward location will be allowed to bring his family to the nearest battalion centre for a week as per the new scheme said.