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    Indian military personnel drive Indian Army tanks as they take part in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2014

    Indian Defence Forces Lost 334 Men to Suicide and Fratricide Since 2016

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    The state defence minister, speaking to the Indian parliament currently in session, said that the government has taken major steps to boost a healthy environment that includes yoga and meditation.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre informed the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament, that suicide is a major killer in the three branches of the Indian Defence Force — the Army, Air Force and Navy. He was speaking in response to a query that was raised in this regard.

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    Citing numbers, Bhamre said that the Defence Services have lost 334 personnel to suicide and fratricide alone since 2016. In the year 2016, India lost 129 troops (104 from the army, 6 from navy and 19 from air force), while the year 2017 saw 101 deaths (75 from army, 5 from navy, 21 from air force). The year 2018, the country lost 104 personnel (80 from the army, 8 from navy and 16 from air force).

    The junior minister also informed that there were five cases of fratricide in the three forces in the same time period.

    Apprising the Rajya Sabha on the steps taken, Bhamre informed that his government has undertaken measures to foster a good environment among rank holding officers and other non-rank holders. Such measures include better quality in terms of facilities offered to the defence personnel.

    Currently, the forces enjoy clothing, food, married accommodation, travel facilities, schooling for kids, recreation and periodic welfare meetings.

    The minister said that the government has deployed psychological counsellors and has incorporated yoga and meditation routines as stress management tools.

    "The government has worked towards institutionalization of projects named ‘MILAP' and 'SAHYOG' for stress reduction and has established 'Mansik Sahayata Helpline' (helpline for mental wellbeing) in the army and the air force wherein troops can avail professional counselling", he said.

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    The formation of Military Psychiatry Treatment Centre at INHS Asvini and establishment of Mental Health Centres in Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Port Blair, Goa, and Karwar are among other curative measures taken by the Indian Forces, elaborated the minister.


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