New Delhi: The country’s elite administrative service is doing more than just mourn the brave who lost their lives in anti-Naxal and anti-terror operations.
Taking a voluntary initiative, IAS officers will adopt families of these martyrs to ensure that their children get a good education and other family members get timely financial assistance that is due to them under the government’s compensatory policy.
An association of IAS officers from across the country decided that each of them will adopt one family of the security personnel (defence, central armed police forces and state police) who died in such action and support them for 5-10 years. The adopted family would preferably be from the state (cadre) to which the officer belongs. The officer will not be required to provide any direct financial assistance to the adopted family, but support and handhold its members on a sustained basis so that they live with a sense of security and assurance that the country is taking care of them in their hour of crisis and tragedy,” said Sanjay Bhoosreddy, honorary secretary of the Indian Civil and Administrative Service (Central) Association.
Initially, about 600 to 700 young officers of the past four batches (2012 to 2015) will be asked to adopt at least one family in the area of their posting. The officers (mostly SDM, additional DM or district magistrate level) will approach such families within their area of posting and offer themselves as facilitators to help them (families) get their dues, like pension, gratuity, or allotment of services like petrol pump, jobs or assist their children in getting school admission or getting them trained in specific skills under the government’s Skill India or Digital India programmes. If the dependent family members are interested in starting a business or a start-up, the IAS officers will also help them out through financial institutions.
“Senior officers, or those from state civil services, can also adopt such families voluntarily,” said Bhoosreddy, a joint secretary-level IAS officer who is currently posted as chief vigilance officer of MMTC, a central PSU. “We are requesting state governments and the central government to issue the necessary instructions in this regard to all concerned so that this arrangement gets institutionalised at the earliest. State governments have already been asked to share with the association the details of such families,” he said, adding that similar details will also be sought from the defence ministry or the central armed police forces like BSF, CRPF, CISF, ITBP or others.
He noted that the influence of IAS officers on the local administrative machinery can be “positively channelised to support and help the families of martyred soldiers in an effective and sustained manner”.