Parliament proceedings | COVID-19 claimed lives of 32 Army, 3 IAF personnel

1,123 personnel ended their life from 2010 to 2019, says MoS Shripad Naik in LS

Thirty-five military personnel- 32 from the Army and three from the Air Force, have deceased due to COVID-19, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

To a separate question, the government informed that there were 1,123 suicide cases in the armed forces from 2010 to 2019.

“The number of COVID-19 cases in the Army, the Navy and the Air Force are 16,758, 1,365 and 1,716 respectively,” Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

Of the 1,123 suicides reported from 2010 to 2019, 901 were from the Army, 40 from the Navy and 182 from the IAF. “The Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR), after conducting a number of studies since 2006, has, inter alia, listed domestic and personal problems, marital discord, stress and financial problems as the major causes of suicides by armed forces personnel,” Mr. Naik said.

From the Army, the years 2010, 2011 and 2016 recorded over 100 suicides with the highest being 116 in 2010.

Elaborating on the steps taken, Mr. Naik said the government had taken several steps towards stress amelioration amongst troops, which include deployment of trained psychological counsellors, improvement in the quality of food and clothing, training in stress management, provision of recreational facilities, buddy system, leave concessions, approachability of seniors, facilities for movement of troops from border areas and establishing a grievance redressal mechanism at various levels.

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