A new study conducted by a serving colonel for defense thinktank United Service Institution of India says that the more than half of the 13 lakh Army ‘seems to be under severe stress’, with the force losing more soldiers every year due to suicides, fratricides and untoward incidents than any enemy action on the borders and battling with the terrorist.
The Army however rejected the study, stressing that the sample size for the survey was too limited to arrive at such big conclusions. The senior officer said, “The study has been done by one individual, with a sample size of around 400 soldiers. I don’t know the methodology involved but it does not stand to logic.”
Talking about the numbers the army has lost over 950 soldiers due to suicides since 2010. It remains that around 100 soldiers take the extreme step of ending their lives every year. Soldiers posted in field areas undergo tremendous stress for not being able to take care of the problems facing their families back home, which could range from property disputes and harassment by anti-social elements to financial and marital issues.
The study, conducted by colonel A K Mor, on its part says there has been ‘a significant increase in stress levels’ among Army personnel during the last two decades due to both operational and non-operational sectors. “Prolonged exposure of Indian Army personnel to the CI or CT environment has been one of the contributory factors for increased stress levels,” says the study.