Army wants spouses to learn history, global affairs & ability to avail social schemes for troops

Army wants spouses to learn history, global affairs & ability to avail social schemes for troops

Photo for representation.

Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 29

In an attempt to give Army wives welfare association (AWWA) a wider role, the Indian Army has moved a concept note of having a deeper ‘spouse support system’.

This looks to train the spouses of young officers on reading up on the history of the Army and how to handle social media.

As the officer rises in ranks, the spouse is briefed on global issues.

Most importantly, the Army wants the AWWA to effectively link to Government of India (GoI) schemes for women like Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme, Mudra Loan, Awas Yojana, Ujwala scheme, which will help the wives and daughter of troops.

The note has not yet been approved for implementation.

The need has been felt that as the husband rises in service, the spouse is asked to shoulder wider responsibilities.

These may be associated with managing Army-run schools in remote areas, skilling  centres, medical outfits, enabling vocational pursuits, hostels for children, shopping arcades within military stations, issues related to social maladjustment or marital discord among troops.

“These responsibilities which were once merely ‘ex - officio’, have to be dealt with in a far more engaged manner today, because they have become more complex and have acquired financial and legal overtones,” says the 37-page concept note which has been circulated.

Rising aspirations means there is a need to transit to a more modern framework of engagement.

The note observes that Army spouses are presently employing ‘empathy’ to redress myriad issues such as alcoholism, discord, stress, self-harm, anxiety or depression.

The spouse, unless being a trained professional in the field, does not have the competence to discern patterns of suicidal tendencies, anxiety or clinical depression, at any such voluntary counselling of the wives of troops.

In the Army, the wives of the troops can lodge a complaint to the AWWA in case of a marital discord.

The AWWA, headed by the wife of Army Chief is an NGO. 

The Army prefers it that way to keep matters within and prevent any long-winded legal wrangling the troops may face.

Based on an internal analysis, the Army’s idea of ‘spouse training’ including upgrading the skills to manage change and ensure feedback on family matters.

The Army spouses will be trained to have basic working knowledge of law to be able to appreciate legal advice on litigations in family courts.

The spouses of senior generals should have developed a high level of security consciousness aligned to the prevailing geo-political situation in the country as also the security outlook of the Indian Army.

This is needed as spouses are present at major international functions.

“To know what not to say at these events is vital,” said an official adding that the concept is followed by the US forces.

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