In a decision that is bound to cheer the armed forces, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has directed all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to ensure that each personnel gets to spend 100 days every year with his or her family. Shah made the announcement after laying foundation stone for new headquarters of the CRPF in New Delhi. "When the force will get the building equipped with all facilities, it will help to increase their ability, vigilance and alertness while performing their duty," he said.
He said the government was aware that CAPF personnel who work at lower levels are not able to fulfil responsibilities towards their family and society in a proper way. "We have decided that every jawan would spend time with his family for 100 days," he added.
The Minister said he was not sure when he would complete his promise, but said he was determined to change the situation.
"I have constituted a committee for the purpose and have also sought suggestions from Director Generals of all armed forces. I have also directed some institutions to prepare a computerised software," Shah said.
For this, he said, it is necessary to increase satisfactory housing ratio for which "we have a plan in the upcoming Budget".
"If we do all these things, and jawan starts spending 100 out of 365 days with his family, he will be able to meet obligations to his family as well as social responsibilities in a proper way."
On health checkup of CAPF or paramilitary personnel, Shah said: "Not only a trooper but also his wife, children and parents will also get the benefits being provided by the Central government.''
"They will be given a health card and all the parameters will be mentioned in this card. The Home Ministry is working on it in coordination with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Shah appealed to state governments to provide such cards to security personnel in their states.
Addressing armed forces, the Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has adopted a 'sutra' (formula) that "you protect the country and we will protect your family as well as reduce your tension".
He said the government has come up with several welfare schemes for the families of these personnel and Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla are working on it.
Mentioning Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14 that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel, Shah said it is government's responsibility to protect security personnel from any unexpected attack and the "air travel facility" for the armed forces has helped in increasing their morale.
On the new headquarters of CRPF, the Minister said it's a matter of pride for him to lay the foundation stone for the building of a "world's largest armed force".
Shah said that the new CRPF Headquarters would be constructed based on "green building model" and that it was necessary to provide the headquarters to a 3.5 lakh strong force so that it could prepare its action plan and implement it on the ground.
The project, targeted to be completed in 2022, will cost Rs 277 crore. The ground plus 11-storey building with 3 basements, will have a total built-up area of 45,675 square metres. Apart from offices, the building will have an auditorium, conference hall, barracks for accommodating subordinate staff, guest rooms and a gymnasium.
With parking capacity of 520 cars, the building will have skywalks at the 6th and 7th floor connecting with a cafeteria. The building will have green features as well with vertical green walls, terrace lawn and a solid waste management system.
Acknowledging the bravery of CRPF personnel, Shah said it is "not only the world's largest armed force but also the world's bravest armed force".
"CRPF has proved it with the sacrifices of its personnel. CRPF's 2,184 personnel have sacrificed their lives for the safety of the country," he said.
(With IANS inputs)