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Welfare steps for armed personnel to be fast-tracked, says Parrikar

In view of cases of suicide by armed personnel, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said the welfare measures for them is a priority for the government and it is more important than arms procurement.

A person behind the armament should be stronger and that is the best defence strategy, he told reporters here.

The welfare measures for the defence personnel will be implemented on a fast pace to ensure that suicides are completely arrested, the Defence Minister said.

Parrikar said he has asked officials to go into the reasons behind the suicides.

“This is a man management issue which needs to be resolved in different ways, including counselling, quick redressal mechanism and more tribunals to hear the cases,” he said.

The issues like family accommodation for married personnel should be sorted out quickly, he said.
“In Goa Naval area, there are 700-800 quarters which are being constructed for married couples. The work is going on at slow pace. I will be holding review of such projects across the country,” Defence Minister Parrikar said.

Isolation and living away from families are among the reasons that spark suicides, he said, adding 
that all welfare measures would be in place in a time-bound manner.

Parrikar told Parliament recently that there have been 449 cases of suicides reported in the armed forces since 2011.

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