Saffronisation row: BSF starts yoga for troops to combat stress, sleep deficiency - Alternative Media Forum


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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Saffronisation row: BSF starts yoga for troops to combat stress, sleep deficiency

New Delhi(web team): Since the victory of Narendra Modi-led BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, liberals have been fear-mongering about the saffronisation of education by the new government. Their fears are indeed coming true, if one goes by the Union HRD minister Smriti Irani’s mandate of including the relevant parts of the Upanishads and the Vedas in the school text books, especially for the students of classes 8, 9 and 10. Should a parent of these students be worried about the syllabus change? Or should she simply ignore it?

With "sleep deprivation" due to hard duties remaining a continuous irritant for the troops of country's largest border guarding force BSF, the paramilitary has launched a string of yoga classes and stress management sessions for its men and women in combat.

The force has tied up with the renowned spiritual and social organisation 'Brahma Kumaris' for conducting 30 special workshops for its personnel based in border camps and other frontiers in the country.

"Sleep deprivation is a problem that we are encountering in the force. There have also been some instances when we have seen that the anxiety level amongst our troops have gone up.

These are problems that need to be addressed and hence we have planned special yoga and stress management sessions for the force personnel," BSF chief D K Pathak told PTI here.

The Director General said the special yoga and spiritual counselling sessions will also train some of the master trainers in the force, along with troopers, who would further impart the skills in the jawans and officers at other levels.

As per the blueprint of the new plan, these sessions will be undertaken across the country in order to de-stress the jawans and officers of the force who serve in some of the most inhospitable terrains of the country like in the hot deserts of Rajasthan, icy heights in Jammu and Kashmir and riverine areas in West Bengal.

A recent report prepared on the state-of-affairs of the force had said that the stressful job of manning sensitive Indian borders in difficult terrain round-the-clock is forcing BSF personnel to lead a "nomadic" life with a state of continuous sleep deprivation.

A senior official said with the increasing usage of mobilephones, the BSF has also asked it commanders to make sure that troops undertaking patrols or sensitive duties do not take the gadget with themselves.

"As compared to earlier times, a problem at home is now quickly communicated to a jawan and then he undergoes stress when he or she thinks they are not able to help the situation.

The force is also undertaking measures to de-stress troops and counsel them towards motivation," the official said.

The report prepared earlier had added that long postings at the border and other places of deployment in the internal security grid of the country are making these personnel, called 'bordermen', face "social boycott".

"The BSF personnel lead a nomadic life. Every night they leave the comforts of the border outpost and go to zero-line with bedding roll and after 6 hours of active duty, in ambush/naka or patrolling, try to sleep for few hours (as per duty roster) at some temporary machans/improvised shelters in the company of mosquitoes and snakes," the report had said.

Critics have disclosed that This also fits in with the concept of nationalism, as understood and propagated by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological fountainhead of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Nationalism, which lies at the core of the RSS, can only grow if it included in school education. This nationalism is not merely about pride or patriotism in security forces.

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