Poll duty: Tepid response from ex-servicemen

No takers

It seems there are not much takers among ex-servicemen for the district administration’s call for discharging election duties.

It is evident with a meagre 10 ex-servicemen volunteering to perform the task in the Assembly elections scheduled for May 5. Sources said, Mysore, Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts come under the jurisdiction of the office of deputy director, Sainik Welfare and Resettlement Board.

Around 4,100 retired defence personnel — irrespective of cadres; officers, junior commissioned officers and jawans (soldiers) — come under the office. However, a meagre 10 have responded to the call this time. When compared to previous Assembly elections, as around five to seven persons had responded to the call, there seems to be an improvement this time, sources said.

Security agencies

With the mushrooming of security agencies, ex-servicemen are in great demand for their  ability to take up any arduous task. Taking the ex-servicemen’s capability into cognisance the district administration is roping in them for election duty too.

An officer, preferring anonymity, said, last time there was a request for radio operator. 

Likewise, based on specific requirements, ex-servicemen will be deputed. What may prove as a impediment for ex-servicemen to volunteer for the task is the delay in payment of honorarium. It so happened after the previous elections that, the office of Sainik Welfare in Mysore had to write to the deputy commissioner towards the release of honorarium.

Another reason for lacklustre response is, post-retirement, most of the ex-servicemen find jobs either with government or private firms, depending on their ranks. In case of exigency, such men cannot take up poll duty.

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