BSF, CRPF frustrated, suffer sleep shortage: Study

BSF, CRPF frustrated, suffer sleep shortage: Study

Troops of the country's two largest paramilitary forces - CRPF and BSF - are suffering from acute shortage of sleep and are highly dissatisfied as they are deprived of leave and medical care benefits, a government sponsored study by IIM Ahmedabad has said.

"The personnel complained they were not granted leave on time. This was a cause of great dissatisfaction among them. The procedure of granting leave took a long time and at times, the leave was granted after the period is over for which it was applied," the study done by Professor Dheeraj Sharma of IIM-A said.

The 11-page summary of the report said, "Personnel at these paramilitary forces suffer from acute shortage of sleep. The working duties need them to work over long, stretched hours. The deprivation of sleep reduces the energy levels and causes discontentment among the workforce."

Sharma was tasked to undertake the on field survey of the personnel after the force headquarters and Home Ministry observed that a number of personnel were either leaving the service or opting for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) owing to various issues.

The study has made the Home Ministry sit up and take notice of the service and living conditions of these personnel who guard sensitive borders and tackle the most difficult internal security challenges like Left Wing Extremism (LWE).

"The report is with the ministry now and a reply has been sought from both the CRPF and BSF. We will take appropriate remedial measures soon," a senior Home Ministry official said.

While nearly three-lakh strong CRPF personnel is the lead anti-Naxal operation force in the country, around 2.5-lakh BSF men guards strategic Indian frontiers along Pakistan and Bangladesh. 

Professor Sharma compiled the findings after talking to both CRPF and BSF across various locations.

While he met BSF personnel deployed in Gujarat, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal, CRPF personnel in Delhi, Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir were interviewed for the analytical study.

One big problem which the personnel from these forces face is difficulty to get medical claims, the report said.

"The medical claims made by the workforce often go unpaid. Further, troops complained that on many occasion they are required to purchase basic medication for their ailment without reimbursement. This causes frustration among the work force. They often need to pay from their won pockets for availing the medical facilities," it said.

A major cause of concern for the workforce, according to the study, "is the number of duties they are required to perform. At times, even after getting a promotion to a higher rank, they are required to perform duties of lower rank as well."

The report also states that the personnel have to work for "long, stretched hours, which is quite tiring for them".

Discrepancies in salary and flow of command instructions were also stated by the troops as problem areas for them. 

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