As a civilian in an army school, I was highly uncomfortable seeing my army friends asking sahayaks to do menial tasks like carrying their school bags, polishing their shoes etc
I remember once I had gone to a friend’s place and got up to grab a glass of water, and my friend said-are tu baith, bhaiya laa dega
And I went like-kyu wo tere baap ka naukar hain?
And without even batting an eyelid, the reply was -haan,ofcourse
Finally, someone said it! After weeks of anti-nationalism, Trump and rapes being keywords of every headline, the much needed voice of sahayaks made it to the newspapers’ front page. True, it was not good news, but It caught attention and hopefully of those, who could turn thing around.
An Army jawan who had figured in a sting operation by a news website criticising the ‘sahayak’ (orderly) system last month was found dead in mysterious conditions in an abandoned barrack in Maharashtra on Thursday. Roy Mathew, a gunner, was found hanging from the ceiling of a room
Let us provide some context though, The Sahayaks system – whereby a solider is attached to officers and Junior Commissioned Officers has been under scrutiny recently because a video surfaced which described a first hand account of how sahayaks are treated like domestic help.
Army brats? Yes mam!
And this wasnt all of it! I would see these trained men coming to pick up my friends from school, and running petty errands like bringing the groceries,walking the dog or even washing the car!
And they were so polite always! I once visited another friend for a couple of days. She ‘assigned’ a Sahayak to me. He had to look after my needs. I kept refusing Ramesh’s (name changed) help, and he was being extremely sweet. I had to go out to buy a medicine for a headache, he just wouldnt let me go. Ramesh went out and got me the medicine and infact told the cook to make me some tea which he got me personally.
Most of the times, I have seen my ‘army brat’ friends bark orders or not acknowledge their presence
I could not understand it then, can not understand now. Isnt the Sahayak an accomplice to your father ? What gives you the right to treat him that way
True, there are a lot of families which discipline their kids to be independent and treat Sahayaks as friends, which they are entitled to. The majority of them however, would not think twice before asking the Sahayak to -go, fetch me a glass of water.
The saddest part, is that all my friends are from one of the biggest schools in the country. All are millenials who share YKA articles about equality, women empowerment, casteism and sexism. Every Ism possible,, but leave out one important -acy. Hypocrisy!
Moreover, the Navy and Airforce have abolished this service, what are you waiting for Dear Army?