New Delhi: A Parliamentary Committee on
Defence on Thursday 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 strong recommendation from the committee comes after
the Defence Ministry in its reply to a 2008 report on "stress
management in the armed forces" had virtually rejected the
suggestion that the sahayak system be done away with.
In an action taken report tabled in both the Houses of
the Parliament, the committee said it was unable to comprehend
why it was necessary to continue with the sahayak system that
"lowers the self-esteem of a jawan" when the Navy and Air
Force have 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.