The Kashmir issue is on the rise again and the forces are again blamed for being brutal. Different versions are delivered for different reasons. Amidst all this, the issue of problems faced by the foot soldiers of military and para-militarily forces are ignored conveniently. A soldier writes about the everyday problems he has and represents his entire fraternity. This situation is enough to shame-face us as we continue logical debates on Kashmir and “Human Rights”.
Here is the write-up;
I am serving in the Paramilitary Forces and have posted in Kashmir for the past four years. Ten years of my service have been completed this month. I get paid around Rs 28,000 per month and during leave(if taken) my salary goes down to just Rs 22,500 per month.
Let me calculate my monthly expenses. My family is living in a rented house for which I have to pay Rs 5,000 every month. I have two children whose school fees, tuition and other things come around Rs 6000. Seven thousand rupees per month goes in home ration and gas. So, the overall monthly expenditure for my family is Rs 18000.
The pain of a soldier posted in Kashmir
The expenses do not stop here. The total phone bills for my family including me are about Rs 1500. If I go to home every three months then I have to pay 10,000 for the return fare and other travel expenses. At the ends of the month I barely manage to save Rs 3000 if everyone in my family remain fit in that month and do not have to visit the doctor or need to take medicines. I request you all, irrespective of age to consider my situation and share it.
As I am posted in Kashmir I cannot live in my house and my children remain unprotected in my absence. I can only talk to them over the phone. In my absence they do not have any role model who can teach them the good things. If there are drunkards around and my children can quickly start copying them. The safety of my family is at stake with me not around for most of the time. My wife gets teased in front of everyone in the open market. When she went to the police station to complain they advised her to live safely and if she files the FIR, then she has to face the consequences and pressures from the goons and the political leaders.
At the same time our properties and belongings are not safe either. Neighbors want to capture our properties. Upon complaining I get suggestions that nothing will happen if I take matters to court as the offender is a relative of a political leader. I only get assurance and nothing more.
At the same time there is no guaranty of our lives and I can die any moment. I also came from a good background and could have well raised my family while staying at home, given my children better education, taken them to school every day, taken care of my property, protected my mother, sister and wife. We remain on duty 24 hours for 365 days a year. But, because of the heinous world around us I could not sleep for last two days.
People say great things about us. But, let me give you a recent example of what actually happens in reality. Even after working for over 10 years in Paramilitary Forces there is still no electricity at my home in native place. There are no proper roads as well leading to my home. Another person from my village got selected for civil service in the year 2013-2014. Within 3 months government built a paved road to his house and gave electric connection to his house. But, even after repeated visit to the relevant department, nothing has been done regarding electricity and road to my house.