BSF stops alcohol supply to border posts, starts counselling for jawans
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This may not be exactly good news for the "spirited" jawan posted along the international border. The Border Security Force (BSF) has prohibited the supply of alcohol to its personnel in the Border Observation Posts (BOPs), with immediate effect. For those who may find it difficult to cope with work-related stress without a regular dose of alcohol, the Assam and Meghalaya Frontier (A&M Ftr) of BSF has decided to put in place the Alcoholics Anonymous Service Centre to provide counselling for the personnel of the paramilitary force.
Said BSF Inspector General P K Misra, "BOPs are
operational sectors and we cannot have drunken personnel manning these sensitive forward posts."
He, however, assured liquor will be provided during 'Barakhanas' and when the men go on leave.
There's also another angle to the ban. There have been incidents when drunk jawans turned trigger-happy inside the barracks. Also, drunk soldiers, on patrolling duty, were found loitering around the international border. In order to ensure that such incidents are not repeated, the BSF has taken this step.
Inaugurating a two-day counselling session at the BSF headquarters here on Friday, Mishra said alcoholism was a 'disciplinary problem', which was earlier tackled through exemplary punishment. "Now, there will be no punishment. Instead, jawans who are addicted to alcohol will be identified and sent for regular counselling sessions," he said, adding that loneliness and family feuds were primary reasons behind jawans getting addicted to alcohol. "Loneliness can be tackled through sports and instead of wasting money on alcohol, you can use it for making regular phone calls to your family," he added.
Leader of the three-member Alcoholics Anonymous team Amit Ghosh, who will conduct the counselling sessions for the jawans, said, "An estimated one lakh groups with over 2,200,000 members in 180 countries hold over 1200 meetings every week." The organisation was started in 1935 by a New York-based stockbroker and an Ohio surgeon, both of whom were "hopeless drunks".
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