Where is welfare in AWWA & AWHO

There are too many skeletons in the cupboard of the Army’s welfare institutions — AWWA & AWHO.

Guneet Chaudhary’s efforts to uncover the shenangians of the Army Wives Welfare Association by using the RTI Act has opened a proverbial can of worms. The former army Major brings out the inconsistencies in Army’s stand in this comment highlighting the CIC order on his appeal.

On the last hearing on 15 Jan 2008, AWWA presented in writing its response to the various queries made by the Information Commission during the earlier hearing. However, on AWWA’s Counsel refusal to furnish a copy to the appellant, the CIC ordered AWWA to give the copy of the reply to the Appellant. On perusal of the balance sheets furnished by AWWA ,the Appellant pointed out that it did not reflect the entire sources of income of the AWWA and specifically referred to the 2008 report of the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) in which CSD had claimed to have contributed to the AWWA and some others a total of Rupees 9500 million over the past sixty years. The said evidence was produced by the Appellant. Taking a serious note of the evidence adduced by the Appellant, the CIC ordered the Canteen Stores Department representative to be present on the next date of hearing and apprise the CIC of the contribution made to AWWA on year wise basis. Further CIC directed AWWA to explain on or before the next date of hearing the annual hiring cost of Government premises in which its offices and facilities are housed.

Surprisingly, though the Army authorities till date claim AWWA to be an independent entity, the AWWA’s balance sheets were submitted by Army .The records further revealed that the Audit of AWWA was conducted at the behest of Army authorities and the audit reports were also submitted to Army’s Adjutant General’s Branch. It clearly shows that Army has direct control over the funds of the AWWA. The Appellant had raised many issues regarding the balance sheets submitted and the same will come up for discussion on the next hearing. It may be recalled that Comptroller and Auditor General of India in one of its reports had also raised questions regarding the functioning of AWWA.

The copies of posting orders of serving Army officers on AWWA’s assignments furnished by Army further substantiated Appellants claim that AWWA is substantially using the human resources/sources of the Indian Army. During the earlier hearings, Army authorities have declined having posted any serving Army officer/personnel’s on AWWA duties. The posting orders submitted by the Army authorities clearly shows that posting orders are being issued by the Army’s MS branch, and it clearly reveals that posting of Staff officers is directly controlled by the Indian Army. It clearly shows the misuse of Army machinery by AWWA though the Army authorities speak otherwise. It has been contended by Army that all men associated with AWWA are rendering voluntary services after the Office hours and are contributing voluntarily from their own monies.

Meanwhile, a friend sent me an email that highlights the inconsistencies with the Army Welfare Housing Organisation. The originator of the email, it seems, is none other than the former Major General VK Singh who was targeted by the government for bringing out the misdeeds in the R&AW.

After having spent 37 years, I am not very comfortable writing this. As a rule, we don’t criticize our own profession, or anything connected with it. That is the credo of the soldier, which sets him apart from others. But now that the Army has disowned the AWHO – yes disowned is the right word – I think it is time to speak out.

The AWHO was created in 1978, with the avowed aim of providing houses to Army personnel at low cost. The scheme, when it began, was modeled on a scheme that existed in the Pakistan Army, wherein a fixed sum of money was deducted from the salary of a soldier, so that he could be given a house when he retired. The AWHO was formed with a similar scheme in mind, called the long term scheme. I still remember the thrill we felt when the scheme was announced by the COAS on Army day. I was posted in HAA and heard the news on my transistor. Most officers and men joined the scheme and amounts varying form Rs 50 to Rs 200 began to be deducted from their salaries. To cater to those who had between 5-10 years service left, there was also a short term scheme, where the contributions were higher.  This continued for a few years. Then, to help those who had just one or two years service left, the spot scheme was started. Later, the long and short term schemes were scrapped, and only the spot scheme survived. The AWHO became like the DDA, or any of the State Housing Boards. (I have often wondered why they still have the ‘W’, since there is no welfare now. The Air Force and Naval Housing Boards don’t profess to be welfare organisations, through they are more transparent).

According to its charter, as given on its web site (www.awhosena.org), the AWHO functions on ‘No Profit No Loss’ basis. However, this is not entirely true. Sadly, the AWHO has become a den of corruption and is fleecing soldiers – harsh words, but true – who are naïve and have little time to go into details. Those who try run into a wall.

The AWHO and Right to Information Act
·                     Attempts by members to get any information are stone walled by the AWHO which contends that it is not covered by the RTI Act since it is a ‘private society’, registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860. (This is laughable. The AWHO is located in Army accommodation in Kashmir House, alongside the E-in-C’s Branch of Army HQ; it has many serving personnel posted or attached to it; it is run by an executive committee of which the Adjutant General is the ex –officio chairman).
·                     In a hearing held on 10/10/08 on an appeal filed by Maj Gen VK Singh, the CIC accepted the plea of the AWHO that it is a private society registered with the Registrar of Societies Delhi. In support of their arguments, AWHO submitted a statement of the MoS, Defence, Shri Arun Singh before the Lok Sabha. The Minister had stated:- “As far as the first part of the question is concerned, no, it is not part of the Government. It is a society registered under the Societies Act. Regarding the second part of the question, the full time Chairman and all the members of the board of management are ex-offcio. There is no individual as such as Chairman. The Chairmanship rotates as postings are changed. As far as meeting of the general body is concerned, in this particular society, as registered under the Societies Act, there is no such thing as the general body. It is the board of management that runs the society. There the members meet regularly, once year minimum. And as far as complaints are concerned, we are not a in a position to intervene in their functioning directly. We do, however, if there are any complaints, pass on the same to the society.”
·                     Though the CIC upheld the plea of the AWHO that is not a public authority, in his order he added:- “That the Adjutant General’s Branch of the Indian Army can access the information pertaining to AWHO was admitted by the CPIO in answer to a  direct question in the hearing. The appellant may also seek information concerning the AWHO through the Registrar of Societies by filing a fresh application under the RTI Act provided such information is legally accessible to the Registrar under the Societies Registration Act cited above, concerning AWHO. The appellant has the right u/s 2(j) to seek any information available with Army headquarters and the concerned CPIO will be obliged to provide all available information in their custody.”
·                     Maj Gen VK Singh applied to the Registrar of Societies seeking information under the RTI Act on 31/10/08. The reply is very interesting. The AWHO was registered under the Societies Registration Act vide Registration No. S-9142 on 23/3/1978. The main file of the society is missing since long hence the name of the applicant is not available in the record. This is not all. The AWHO is not filing the list of governing body members – this is mandatory – no such list is available in the record after 1998. There is no record of the AGM being held, elections of office bearers and accounts.
·                      An application addressed to the MOD asking for information regarding was facilities such as accommodation, transport, manpower provided to AWHO was transferred by the MOD to Army HQ, which in turn sent it to the AWHO. As expected, AWHO has refused to provide the information, quoting the decision of the CIC that it is not a public authority and does not come under the provision of the RTI Act 2005.
·                     Recently, in another RTI case, the Army had contended that it has nothing to do with the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA). It now says the same thing about the AWHO. Will it also wash its hands of the Army Welfare Education Society (AWES) and the Ex-Servicemen Central Heath Scheme (ECHS)?

Some Interesting Facts
·                  The AWHO recovers the cost of land as well as construction in advance. Hence 100% of the cost of the houses is recovered several years before the house is handed over. So, in effect, the AWHO does not spend any money of its own, and owns neither the land nor the houses its builds. Its status is that of a builder, who constructs the houses on behalf of the members, using their funds.  Yet, it insists that a conveyance deed is executed after the house is handed over. This results in payment of double stamp duty by the members for the land; once when AWHO buys the land from the original land owner (using their funds) and again when AWHO transfers the houses to them.
·                     Members of several housing societies in NOIDA, including AWHO and Air Force and Naval Housing Board, (AFNHB) filed a case against the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) in the Allahabad High Court. In a judgment dated 14/10/2004, Justices Markandey Katju and Sunil Ambwani ruled that the members, ‘being owners of the flats/apartments, could not be compelled to enter into the sale of the flat which is already owned by them and to enter into any fresh terms and conditions of allotment of such flats/apartments which are not agreeable to them.’  Since this involved the refund of several hundred crores recovered by them as stamp duties, the GDA has appealed in the Supreme Court. The case has still to be decided. Registration of conveyance deeds in NOIDA has been stopped, but AWHO continues to follow this procedure in other stations.
·                  In the conveyance deed, the AWHO mentions that the dwelling unit is  ‘free hold and free from all encumbrances, claims, encroachment, demands, dues, liens, mortgage, decrees, litigations, prior sales, agreement to sell etc’. However, it stipulates that the new owners can neither sell the flat, nor give it on rent without its permission. This is not only contrary to the Transfer of Properties Act but also the ruling of the High Court quoted above.
·                  The AWHO transfers only the dwelling unit and not the proportional share of the land, which the member has already paid for. This is contrary to the Transfer of Properties Act as well as the Apartment Owners Act. The latter stipulates that within 90 days of completion of the project, the builder should file a declaration with the State Urban Development Authority, giving details of the number, size, value and proportionate share of land and common facilities of each apartment owner. Apartment owners are required to execute a deed of apartment, on which no stamp duties are required to be paid.
·                     The AWHO has offered to transfer the title of the land to the RWAs provided they pay the stamp duty. This will mean that the members will pay stamp duty thrice, for land which had been purchased by them in the first instance. As a result, very few RWAs have agreed to do this, and the title of the land continues to be with the AWHO.
·                     If a member wishes to sell the flat, he has to apply to the AWHO for an NOC. The AWHO charges Rs 10,000/- from the Seller as well as the Buyer. To justify the recovery, the buyer, even if he is civilian, is made a member of the AWHO. The new buyer has to give an undertaking that he will not sell or rent out the flat without permission of the AWHO. In effect, it ensures that the AWHO makes Rs. 20,000 every time the flat is sold, in perpetuity. There is no record of the amount recovered by AWHO so far on account of such sales, but estimates range between 100 to 200 crores.
The AWHO and the Consumer Protection Act
·                     The AWHO indulges in several unfair practices, even falsifying records.  In an attempt to prove that its houses are cheaper than those available in the market, it only mentions the covered area of the flats, without giving details of the carpet area, wall area or common areas. For example, the covered area of the three bedroom flats in Devinder Vihar, Sector 56, Gurgaon is stated to be 1410 sq. ft. in the possession certificate as well as the conveyance deed. In response to an RTI application, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has confirmed that the covered area is just 1269.12 sq. ft. There is thus a shortfall of 144 sq. ft. or more than 10%.
·                     The main reason for the shortfall is that the AWHO counts 100% of the area of balconies while computing the covered area. The industry norm, followed by MES, AFNHB and private builders is 50%. This is also the figure given in E-in-C’s Technical Instruction No 13 of 1970.
·                     Maj Gen VK Singh (Retd) had filed a case in 2003 in the Delhi State Consumer Commission against the AWHO for the shortfall in the covered area. In a judgment delivered on 20/01/2009 the Commission has ordered the AWHO to refund Rs 25,000 for the shortfall, in addition to a penalty of Rs 50,000. If anyone wants a copy of the complaint, he can send an e-mail to vinay4299@gmail.com.  You can get a copy of the order from the website of the Commission delhistatecommission.nic.in. The case No is 12/03

Conclusion
In a nutshell, the AWHO is a law unto itself, accountable to nobody. The Army has already washed its hands of the AWHO – it should not have, but it has – and the Registrar of Societies has confessed that he has no control or information about its activities. The common soldiers – officers, JCOs and OR – feel that it is an Army set up, which will look after their interests. Is this not a case of breach of trust? I felt the same when the military hospitals stopped treating ex-servicemen, and palmed them off to the ECHS. I always believed that the bonds one forms in the Army are for life and continue even after one stops wearing the Olive Greens.  One by one, these bonds appear to be breaking, or cut away. After the AWWA and the AWHO, will the AWES and ECHS follow suit? And the RSIs and DSOIs?

The Right to Information has brought these dark secrets of the non-operational aspects of the army into the open. Judging by these incidents, things can’t be much different in other operational aspects. While the ruse of National Security provides a perfect cover-up for the deficiencies in operational aspects, an ignorant political class, an inept bureaucratic setup, an inefficient media and a feudal military brass only reinforce the Holy Cow image of the armed forces. Is there a reasonable way out?

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48 Responses to Where is welfare in AWWA & AWHO

  1. Menon January 25, 2009 at 12:59 am #

    Army should have the moral courage to speak the truth and take corrective action. I see ‘ketchep’ all over the place.

  2. contrived January 25, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    I can’t agree with the consumer rights complainant more!

    AWHO should be a model service provider considering they are created for the welfare of their consumers, but in practice, the policies are construed to deny the basic consumer rights available from even the private builders of the big cities. To see where they are flagrantly violating consumer rights, see the pointer below.
    The following may be eye opener to any one who cares to exercise their rights under the Consumer Rights Act:
    AWHO CONSUMER RIGHTS

  3. Prabhakar Bedi January 25, 2009 at 10:53 pm #

    Well, I am getting intrigued by the corruption and exploitation of the soldiers by the powers that be in the armed forces

    I guess, i had a misgiving about the holy cow..the saga of revelations may make Ramalinga Raju appear innocent!

    From eggs (Panag vs the (t)chief of army staff) to guns and coffins, the army hierarchy has a lot to answer to get its act together and come clean..no more ketchup on our faces

    The next big fish should obviously be the army canteen services. I believe the corrupt general in charge of the proceedings in Mumbai is raking in big time to introduce merchandise in the canteen and additionally for keeping the supply chain going.. I have heard of some people who are getting the deals through him and will help anyone willing to investigate his role..of course at a discreet price

    happy republic day..let us honour these generals at the parade tomorrow

    disgusting

    Chalta hai ..I guess at the cost of all our soldiers laying down their lives in the harsh winters..

  4. IndianACE January 26, 2009 at 12:28 am #

    Oh No, Sir!
    Ramalingam Raju is not innocent. He is the ‘civilian’ face of the month. Thank You.
    Don’t try to shrug him off now!!

    IMHO, the activities of AWHO definitely need investigation and individuals involved in corrupt practices punished. Maybe PwC can be co-opted as auditors to supplement the local audit office.

    Now, just as one does not insist on Raju being the mascot of Indian corporate world, and one believes he was a corrupt individual who will get his just desserts, similarly any vilification of the officers of the Indian Army in general is not correct. And disparaging words for the COAS are, well, easy on the net.
    Disgusting.

    I do agree that the canteen services are likely to be a big racket and must be focused upon. But again, individuals!

    Just to correct a slight mistake by Bedi #3- these are not ‘army’ canteen services but ‘defence’ canteen services. Or was it for the ‘special’ effects?

    Happy Republic Day, Prag!
    I don’t know how many of the top brass visit your site, but your efforts during the last year have been eye-opening. If it was not for the recession, I would have chucked this ‘job’. seriously!! Thankless and graceless.

    May the ensuing year be the one in which the brasspots are required to respond and not hide behind national security and such subterfuges for sake of AWWA, AWHO et al.

    And may this year, the Indian intellectual starts appreciating the efforts and sacrifices, which the vast majority of Indian army officers and men have made, to keep the country together and secular. And think outside your box (Delhi and Mumbai)

    You can look around you. We all came from the same civilian stock.

  5. Brigadier C G A Pais January 26, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    I am now totally disillusioned by the Armed Forces in which I had so much pride. I have confined my momentos that I used to display with pride to a sack in the store room.Thank heavens none of my children took up this career and I will strongly discourage my grand children for persuing it.

  6. Air Vice Marshal Hamid Shahul January 26, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    Firstly let me clarify that it is not my intention to criticize the AWHO, and particularly being an outsider it will be highly unfair. I am concerned with the Attitudes and as to how good organizations created for the welfare come to grief. I have served as a Chairman of Airports Authority of India, and I have heard the whispers some very loud from outside as to how inconsistent we were in organizing and running the Welfare bodies; personality cult, high handedness,and indifference involved. Unless we learn to communicate well with one and all and remain transparent in our functioning we will face these inconsistencies.
    I feel sad that a few of our senior officers feel so disturbed to leave some very sad comments on these forums. I was from the 11 JSW/NDA, and returned recently from the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and believe me I was thrilled to see our past and I remembered distinctly that from Commandant to every one Senior telling us that we were the cream of this country.
    Trust me, I have seen the Service, Public Sector, Civil Authority, We can justifiably proud to wear and have worn the Uniform. Nothing will desist me if I were to be given a choice again. The quality of life, bonhomie, religious tolerance are factors that we have lived as one and even in death we shared our Pride, if we do visit Kohima, Chennai and other Cemetries .

    HMS.

  7. Mukund Apte January 27, 2009 at 6:26 am #

    Dear sir,
    And till now I was feeling bad that I did return my previlege of making my house in AWHO!
    In case this situation has developed because of an (or a few)individual/s, could it not be rectified by THEIR seniors? In such cases Army is really a good organization.
    In case the land ‘Belongs’ to the flat owners (right from start) what is the condition regarding others in the same building? It appears to me that the problems created are quite complicated.
    In case Army Headquarters disowns the Organization then AWHO needs to do it on its own and quickly.

  8. Vigilanti January 27, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    Gen VK Singh’s email and Maj Guneet’s efforts need more backup..we all must endeavour to bring out such deviations. The AWHO has been fleecing the jawan since a long time, and anomalies in its practices have been spoken of before also. Now it is running helter-skelter to cover up its activities because the implications are far reaching and may affect people in power.
    The AWHO has claimed to be an independently registered society under the Societies Act, but it is commonly known that the Army provides accommodation, manpower, personnel and other support to AWHO. This is evident from the AWHO website (www.awhosena.org). The website, on a thorough scrutiny, reveals clearly that a large no. of AWHO project offices are located in Army premises (e.g. Pune) and have been provided with military exchange telephones.
    The website has pictures of Gen JJ Singh proudly inaugurating new projects..and the AWHO, MD who suprisingly is in Army greens even after having retired…is also seen inaugurating some project.

    If the RTI is not applicable to AWHO, it is certainly applicable to the Army. An RTI application asking about manpower, military telephones, military postal facilites, accommodation provided should suffice in revealing the truth. The army dare not give false statements on this front considering the evidence available on the AWHO website.

  9. Stray Barks January 27, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

    @Prabhakar Bedi

    “The next big fish should obviously be the army canteen services. I believe ..”

    It’s all right – if a former Civilian Canteen Contractor (?) Mr Narendra Modi will become PM what’s the worry if say a legit former CSD Chief becomes CDS ?

  10. Stray Barks January 27, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    The Canteen Contractor Bit: (ref above)

  11. annonymous January 27, 2009 at 10:44 pm #

    it is not only awwa even organization like afwaa(awwas parallel in air force ) has lost its meaning. it just remembers the ladies on the eve of any enterntainment programme for stupid occassions.

  12. Prabhakar Bedi January 28, 2009 at 6:54 am #

    Ace, I am an Indian in full know and realisation of the sacrifices being made by our armed forces and I salute the soldiers for that.. I dont know why you dont see the malaise and are hiding behind emotions to cover the larger issue. It is the vested interests of a few that are maligning the image and morale of the armed forces.. these are the powers that be which need to be brought to book.. not the armed forces..they are and shall remain the pride of India

    The country needs to know and investigate all corrupt practices existing in all organs of the state machinery and the armed forces are no holy cow any longer. The sooner accountability and transparency in their affairs comes to effect..the better

    When generals bring controversies like size of eggs to national knowledge, it is time the nation laid down some guidelines.. I am sure there too the ignominious general would have been removed from Kashmir by the chicken lobby ably supported by the bureaucrats in the ministry..

    There are larger issues of higher defence restructuring, CDS, separation of advisory and executive role of the armed forces and the force modernisation and response mechanisms..but that is never the priority..why don’t our generals thump the table on these counts and ensure our men get the best to fight..why don’t they. Why do they succumb to babus and desk officers? intriguing and fascinating!

    But I guess we concentrate on trivia .. what the intelligensia is attempting to do is to cleanse the armed forces from within so that they find their lost prestige and pride in the heart of every Indian. That they play a dominant role in formulating and executing national security policies rather than leave it to ministries..that they are incorruptible in any format and that in these turbulent times of external and internal threats, they present viable alternatives and not maintain status quo.

    The AWHO, AWWA or AWES are not being run without explicit involvement of the hierchy..specially the corruption, nepotism and opacity by the generals.. I am sure no colonel or major would be overseeing their functioning

    Happy republic day and that there is no need for you to leave the job..we stand behind you, beside you only to ensure you get your due for your sacrifices..and that CSD does not become CDS..well put by stray banks

  13. swordarm January 30, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    Just as an aside, it is only lesser mortals like faujis who need organisations like AWWA (because they keep dying on the job, leaving widows behind), ECHS and AWHO (for obvious reasons – a look at The comparison in this article explains why such trifles don’t matter to the bureaucrats).

    While for all practical purposes the defence services and civil servants earn similar amounts, the difference in standards of living their living after superannuation (bureaucrats don’t retire – they just get rehabilitated) says a lot. This difference is exemplified by the houses in sector 15 A vis a vis sectors 37 / 38 of NOIDA where bureaucrats and service officers have settled respectively. Or the cars standing outside these for that matter.

    It is therefore all the more sad when a handful of people from within the forces undermine the systems and organisations meant for the welfare of their comrades for petty (may not be so petty after all) personal gains.

  14. depps January 31, 2009 at 6:14 am #

    @ AWES or AWHO, etc, etc

    Mr Guneet started with a basic premise that because of RTI, what he would get is some kind of truth or may be an official position may be thru inspection of hierarchy, responsibilities, or from tracking of cash flow (from CSD to these orgs). However, the facts are :

    (a) There is no Karta-dharta of these orphan organisations. PSO’s from Army disclaim any knowledge, responcibilities, etc. The Registrar of societies is happy by registering societies without any clear audit.
    (b) Where funds come from and where do they go – no one knows. Even if some one gets the funds, those are promptly made in FD in a nationalised bank . So that no one can question even in posterity about any use – let alone misuse of fund.
    (c) These bodies are mostly perfect example of autonomous bodies. Even IITs/IIMs, etc are not so autonomous. There is no govt (army control). there is no Registrar and there is no audit what so ever. Let us call them NGO here in after, since they are neither govt bodies, nor private.
    (d) No one can change the rules like Rs 10000 from each party for transfer of house, etc, etc.Simply because there is no AGM or EGM or for that matter no board of directors. The only way you can change the policies is through court of law. Well, in that case who defends these bodies. Is it their own lawyer or Govt solicitor. Most likely it is their own lawyer. But then how a not for profit NGO pays that lawyer and who provides the brief for the lawyer. Is it based on whims of a single person of the moment (called as MD), or is it what Govt of India is stating.
    (e) How does money get transferred from profits of CSD and in what proportion. Who orders it. Is there any Army Instr or SAI for it. or is it thru board of governors of CSD which has RM as the chairman.

    The end result in my opinion is that this is the time that functioning of all these peripheral org should be looked at afresh and changes made as required.

  15. swordarm January 31, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    If the brass has any modicum of professional and personal integrity, they must take immediate measures to ensure the highest standards of probity in these welfare organisations rather than burying their heads in sand like ostriches. It is their duty by the Chetwodian credo to ensure that the welfare organisations serve the purpose they have been set up for in letter and spirit.

  16. Stray Barks January 31, 2009 at 8:07 am #

    “and a feudal military brass only reinforce the Holy Cow image of the armed forces. Is there a reasonable way out ?”

    Way out ? Yessir. Precedents exist: The Military is quite neutral when it comes to Holy Cows. eg there was this VC winner who later stole a cow and was punished for it -

  17. Guneet Chaudhary January 31, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    Hi friends,

    Lot of discussions going on the functioning of CSD ( Canteen Stores Department). So finally I decided before we criticise let me ask from CSD/MOD/Army Hqs what is CSD. How the funds are generated? A detail research was done by group of Retired Army Personnel/ lawyersand Chartered Accountants.

    The period for which the Information is required:

    1950 to 2009 (till the disposal of this request) and such other period as may be necessary for providing complete information in reply to this application.

    Description of the Information Required:

    1. When did the CSD come into existence?
    2. What is the role of CSD (Canteen Stores Department)?
    3. When did the URCs come into existence?
    4. What is the role of URC (Unit Run Canteens)?
    5. When URCs carry out purchases from the CSD, is there any profit being charged by the CSD from URCs? If yes, what is the percentage being charged?
    6. Who are all the basic clients of CSD?
    7. Are the CSD deals with the end customer? If yes, on what occasions? If no, reason for not dealing.
    8. Who deals with AFD Cat I items? CSD or URC?
    9. What is the turnover on AFD Cat I items during the FY 2007-08?
    10. In the general category items, who looks after the after sale service, guarantee card signature, repair, replacement of defective items etc? CSD or URC?
    11. Are the URCs permitted to purchase any items other than those goods listed in the Pictorial Price List issued by the CSD?
    12. After the store purchase from CSD, is the URC permitted to charge any profit margin from their end customers? If so, what is the allowed percentage group wise?
    13. Please provide us a list of CSD and URCs Depots in India.
    14. Are all the CSD Depots managed by Civilian staff? If not, please provide us the list of Combatants working in CSD.
    15. Are all the URCs managed by Civilian Staff? If not, please provide us the list of Combatants working in URCs?
    16. How many permanent civilian employees are working in URCs? Are they performing their duties along with uniform personnel?
    17. Is there any Government sanction for utilizing Serving Military Personnel in the day to day operations of URCs?
    18. Is there any Government sanction for utilizing service vehicles for transporting goods for URCs other than J&K Area?
    19. Please provide a list of entitled clientele of URCs who can avail canteen facility.
    20. Is there any financial limit fixed for the URC customers against monthly purchases? If so, please provide the same.
    21. Who is the controlling authority for CSD? Is there any Board of Administration for CSD? If so, please provide details.
    22. Who is the controlling authority for URCs? Is there any Board of Administration for URCs?
    23. What is the turnover of CSD as on 31 Mar 08?
    24. What is the turnover of URCs as on 31 Mar 08?
    25. Is the turnover, overheads, profitability and its utilization etc of CSD revealed to the Ministry of Defense, Government of India?
    26. Is the turnover, overheads, profitability and its utilization etc of URCs revealed to the Ministry Of Defense Government of India?
    27. Who carries out the auditing of CSD?
    28. Who carries out the auditing of URCs?
    29. Who deals with AFD Category I items?
    30. Are the accounts of CSD come under the purview of Comptroller General of India?
    31. Do the accounts of URCs come under the purview of Comptroller General of India?
    32. What is the contribution of CSD towards Consolidated Fund of India?
    33. Is there any contribution from URCs towards Consolidated Fund of India?
    34. As compared to the turnover of CSD, whether the consolidated turnover of URCs is more or less? If there is a variation, what is the reason for it?
    35. What is the nature of operation of CSD? Is it wholesale or retail?
    36. How can CSD claim that they are the largest Retail Chain in India?
    37. What is the relation between CSD and the URCs?
    38. Is URCs a part of CSD? If not, what is the reason for it?
    39. How does CSD calculate its profit growth per year? How does CSD calculate its turnover? Is it based on the CSD direct sales on AFD Cat I items and the consolidated purchases made by the URCs?
    40. With 34 Depots, how can CSD claim it as the largest retail chain in India?
    41. CSD claims, it has got 3500 outlets in India. What are those outlets? Is it URCs? Then, why the turnover of those outlets are not revealed to Government of India ?
    42. Please provide us the financial year wise turnover of URCs since 1951, as similar to CSD.
    43. Please provide the earning details of URCs since 1951, as similar to CSD.
    44. Please provide us the growth in earnings (%) of URCs, financial year wise, since 1951, as similar to CSD.
    45. What are the financial year wise expenses of URCs in comparison with the turnover, since 1951?
    46. What is the contribution of URCs towards Consolidated Fund of India since 1950-1951?
    47. It is noticed that the CSD has ploughed back Rs. 9000 million into welfare for Army, Air Force and Navy personnel. The year wise data since 1950 is available with us. What about URCs? What is their contribution towards welfare since 1951, please give us details.
    48. It is understood that URCs are the basic customers of the CSD which are located across the length and breadth of the country. If URCs are considered only as customers of CSD and not the part n parcel, how can CSD call those outlets as retail chain of CSD?
    49. If the turnover of CSD is calculated based on the purchases made by the basic customers (URCs) and the direct sales of AFD Cat I items, then, what is the turnover of those basic customers (URCs) who further sell out the items to the end customers by adding their profits?
    50. It is learnt that, as per the official records, the turnover of CSD during the FY 2007-08 was 5600 crores. That means the CSD turnover consists of AFD Cat I direct sales by the CSD through the dealers and purchases carried out by 3500 URCs during the year. Hypothetically, the sales of AFD Cat I could be approximate 600 crores during the FY 07-08. In that case, the purchases made by the URCs during the FY 07-08 would be approximate 5000 crores. Also, after the collection of stores, the URCs would further add up their permitted profit and increase the selling price i.e on liquor 10%, House hold items 5%, food and cosmetics 5%, tea oil watches & AFD II 1.5%. Since, selling price varies in each category of items, if we take a common slab of 5% increase, the consolidated turnover of URCs would certainly be almost as similar to the CSD. Therefore, if we workout the statistics, the consolidated turnover of URCs would become 5250 crores (i.e 5000 crores + 5%) during the FY 2007-08. If we take a least profitability of 4% of the total turnover of URCs, a net profit of Rs. 210 crores was emerged out of URC operations. What about this huge sum? Is there any utility detail of this amount? We would like to get the URC turnover and earning details since 1951, since the time of its induction.
    51. If all the activities, turnover, profitability, etc of CSD are revealed to the Government of India, why the turnover, profitability and its utilization of URCs are not affirmed to the Government of India since 1951?
    52. It is also revealed that out of the earnings of CSD, a portion goes to the Consolidated Fund of India. Also another portion goes for the welfare of troops. And, the rest is merged with the CSD for its turnover as per the approval of Government of India. If that is the case, what about URCs?
    53. Since CSD already concentrates on welfare activities of services, What could be the utility of huge earnings of profits made out of URCs ?
    54. Who is the controlling authority for URC profits? Is it revealed to Government of India any time?
    55. Who is responsible for brining the CSD turnover to a tune of Rs. 5600 crores as on 31 Mar 08 ? Is it CSD staff? Or the URCs who gave an increased turnover to the CSD because of their enhanced purchases and prompt disposal of items to the end customers?
    56. It is learnt that unlike other commercial organizations, the profits of CSD are not retained by the organization. Also, part of the profits is deposited with the Consolidated Fund of India. A major portion is ploughed back into troop’s welfare. If CSD does so since 1951, what about the URCs? Please provide us the details from the year 1951.
    57. The URC concept was introduced in 1951 by Maj Gen KS Thimayya, the then Quarter Master General. The basic customers of CSD are URCs. The purchases made by the URCs are the turnover of CSD. In 1963, the turnover of CSD crosses Rs. 100 million. That means, about 75 million worth purchases were made by URCs from CSD. Thereafter, URCs add up their profits and sell it to the end customers. In that case, what was the turnover of URCs at that time? Was the consolidated turnover of URCs recorded anywhere? What were the profitability and its utilization?
    58. Quantitative Discount (QD) is being given to URCs through the CSD by the Government of India against purchases. It is learnt that the QD is also being merged with the profit of URCs. In 2006, QD worth Rs. 148 crores was given to the URCs through the CSD. Since, the turnover, profitability and its utilization are not declared to the Government of India, the utility of huge earnings including the QD may be justified in detail.
    59. Should there be a separate Board of Administration for URCs also as similar to the one for CSD?
    60. If the CSD can have a headquarters at Adelphi, Mumbai to control the CSD Depots, should there be a headquarters for the administration of URCs ?
    61. If CSD can contribute to the CFI, why can’t the URCs contribute to the CFI? All these years, how have these profits been utilized? What is the accountability? Is the same in the knowledge of Government of India?
    62. Is there any need to formalize the URC operations at the Government level?
    63. What could be the reason for not revealing the huge turnover and profitability of URCs ?
    64. Since CSD is already allotting funds from their profits to all three forces for welfare, what was/is the utility of huge profits earned out of URCs so far?
    65. As the URCs are into direct interaction with 12 million customers, the responsibility for customer satisfaction falls on whom? CSD or URCs ?
    66. CSD deals only with 3500 URCs, 505 suppliers and 675 dealers. Additionally, sales of AFD I items are dealt by the CSD through the dealers. In that case, the ultimate responsibility for disposing off the entire items, other than AFD Cat I, falls on URCs. If that is the case, why the huge responsibilities of URCs are not recognized by the Government of India?
    67. Why the contribution of URCs towards growth of CSD is not spelt out properly when we talk in terms of achievements made by the CSD since 1951?
    68. As the CSD is functioning only as a wholesale outlet by dealing with 5000 basic customers (i.e 3600 URCs and 1400 suppliers), why the URCs cannot be called as CSD’s retail outlets in all intent and purpose? Why the sale proceeds of URCs could not be revealed to Government of India? Perhaps URCs are the one who procure the items from CSD( except AFD Cat I goods) and dispose off from their outlets to the end customer. If the role of both, CSD and URCs, is very important in this supply chain management system, then, why the business activities of URCs are not revealed to the Government of India? What is the utility of this huge earnings out of URCs ?
    69. Prior 1951, URCs (retail sale outlets) were being run by civil contractors. However, CSD (wholesale outlets) was being managed by the Army. In 1951, the URC concept was introduced by Maj Gen Thimmayya, the then Quarter Master General. Since then, the URCs were/are being managed by the military. It is also clear that, as on date, both, CSD as well URCs are being managed by Military. The sales, turnover and earnings of CSD, managed by military, are promptly revealed to the Govt of India. Whereas, the details of sales, turnover and earnings of URCs, that are completely managed by the military, are not revealed to the Govt of India since its inception (1951). Surprisingly, both the organizations are managed and run by the military. Both are making huge earnings. The earnings of both the organizations are in hundreds of crores. Both the organizations are not run on contract. How can military operate the URCs like a private business establishment? If CSD (the wholesale outlet) could reveal the details of sales, turnover, earnings etc to Govt of India and contribute to the Consolidated Fund of India since 1951, why not the URCs ?
    70. Barring AFD Cat I items (i.e four wheelers, two wheelers, ACs, refrigerators, TVs, washing machines etc), all other items of CSD (wholesale outlet) are being sold through URCs (retail outlets) to the end customers by adding URC profit margin. Therefore, the URCs have got a very vital role to play in this business. It is very pertinent to note that the consolidated turnover of URCs would definitely be almost as similar to the CSD. Also, the retail rates of all items of URCs are decided by the CSD. In this regard, a Pictorial Price List is also being issued by the CSD to URCs from time to time. However, for unknown reasons, the earnings of URCs are not revealed to the Government of India since 1951. Is it procedurally correct? What is the utilization of this huge earnings (amounting to hundreds of crores) per annum? Is it revealed to Government of India? Is the auditing of URCs being carried out by the CDA ? If not, why it is so? Are the earning details and its utilization of URCs are examined by the CAG?
    71. As approved by the Government of India, Quantitative Discount for the FY 2004-05 distributed to the URCs through CSD was Rs. 148. 30 crores. Could you please provide us the distribution list of the said amount?
    72. Please provide us the details of quantitative discount approved by the Govt of India for the FYs 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and its distribution list (URC wise). As 3500 URCs are available across the country, are all the URCs entitled for QD? Please provide us the distribution list.
    73. Provide us a list of Non Public Fund business ventures, unit level and headquarter level, undertaken by all three Services. Are the activities of these Non Public Fund ventures known to the Government of India? Also, how do we define a Non Public Fund? What is the difference between Non-Public Fund and Public Fund?
    74. In the whole canteen operations, the role of URCs is definitely as important as CSD since they function as retail outlet of CSD, why the URCs are treated as if like a private venture of Military? Is the Military permitted to undertake such private businesses? Is it a deliberate attempt to conceal the operations of URCs as private venture so as to utilize the huge profits (hundreds of crores) emerged out of URCs by the Military officials? Is there any reason for not revealing the huge earnings of URCs to the Government of India?
    75. If we examine the audit board proceedings of 3400 URCs for the past 5 years, would it be possible to know how much profit, year wise earned, utilized and the quantum of amount left out for utilization?
    76. Please provide us the profit distribution criterion of URCs for the past five financial years.

    THE MODE THROUGH WHICH INFORMATION IS REQUIRED: The information as requested be provided in an electronic form on a DVD and sent to the undersigned at the official address.

  18. depps January 31, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    @ Guneet

    All this in 10 Rs and that too with free DVD….Good.

  19. Pragmatic February 1, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    @Guneet:

    Great work! But it will be a hard and lonely struggle against the vested interests of the services and its brass. These issues like AWWA, AWHO & CSD canteens might sound irrelevant and minor to many, but they hide within them seeds of bigger cultural change. All the best in your endeavours to seek transparency in the non-operational aspects of Army’s functioning. Keep it going!

  20. Stray Barks February 1, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    Epicaste and family will be annoyed.

    Therefore:
    Please watch your back.
    Cantonment traffic advisory.
    Brand Managers like to protect their turf.
    Kissi ke pet par laat n mare.
    Hope you are not going to RTI Police Canteens next ?

  21. Guneet Chaudhary February 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm #

    Hi all,

    AWWA and CSD are non operational part of the Indian Army. Due to this they come under the purview of the RTI Act. In the interest of the security of the country, operational matters are not under the RTI ACT.

    Yes, every thing for Rupees 10/- because the founders of RTI wanted the poorest citizen of the country to ask for any information from the Government of India. After Independence this is the biggest achievement of the Country.

    Guneet

  22. civilian February 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm #

    I am one of the allotte of Dwarka housing. How can you say that the prices are higher. If you go to any of the builder in and around Dwarka, the price of the same flat would cost double the amount. It is indeed pruning is required.
    Fine. But not to the extent that everything is wrong. Their account is audited and no one is posted permanently. They are only given extention. It is not fair to comment ruthlessly on a org before finding facts.

  23. OG February 12, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    ARMY WELFARE HOUSING ORGANISATION, IT’S TIME YOU REMOVED WLFARE FROM YOUR NAME

    1. With great sorrow and anguish I am writing this. I was registered for an AWHO project at Bangalore (Yelahanka) for a duplex single unit .Firstly I want to clarify that my booking for the project was not an investment strategy but to fulfil my dream of owning an independent house to live.The project was to come up in a 50 Acre plot with each single duplex units in 400 Sq Yd plots. Amenities like community centre, swimming pool and 02x Tennis courts were part of the planned project. On confirmation of booking, a total of 5.25 lakhs was paid to the AWHO as part payment. The final instalment of this payment was done in Apr 2005.
    2. In Dec 2005 the AWHO informed that the project had been renamed into Yelahanka A(50 Acre plot) and Yelahanka B(11 Acre plot).The cost of the duplex unit with approx super area 2710 SqFt allotted to me in the Yelahanka Part A plot was tentatively fixed as Rs 32.50 Lakhs .Along with this AWHO also intimated that since the cost of the house was more than what had been advertised earlier(15 lakhs) allottes could withdraw if they wished so! As an incentive it also intimated that no penalty would be charged from those who withdraw as done in other similar cases!
    3. There was no news from AWHO for another two years . In March 2007 AWHO wrote to the registrants explaining about the delay in starting the work. The reason given was certain clearance from state Govt in connection with a road passing through the 50 Acres of land. It once again reminded or rather urged people to leave by saying the cost was likely to go up substantially.
    4. Now after a gap of another two years AWHO has intimated that the contract for construction in Yelahanka part B(11 Acre plot) has been concluded and based on my seniority in the actual allotted plot(Yelahanka A) I have been allotted a house in Yelahanka B (11 Acre plot).The surprising factor is the cost. The duplex unit which was priced tentatively at 35 lakhs in 2005 is now costing Rs 69 lakhs. The reasons cited for the 100 % increase in cost are:
    (a) Sharp increase in cost of construction materials.
    (b) Incorporation of superior specifications in the work.
    (c) Increase in Govt levies.
    5. Is the AWHO trying to make money by charging the land cost at present value? As I understand, the land cost has already been met out of the part payment of 5.25 lakhs made in Apr 2005 by the registrants. This land has been in the possession of AWHO since 2004.AWHO does not pay for land out of its coffers, and being a welfare organisation it is not supposed to make profit by selling land from a land bank to customers at a higher rate. If it is not the land cost then why the unjustified increase in cost?
    6. For a dwelling unit which I had booked in 2005,the revised cost per Sq Ft works out to be a whopping Rs 2400/-.The cost of registration ,internal fittings etc are in addition to this.
    7. The unanswered questions are:
    (a) What is the basis for 100%increase in cost? Cement/Steel prices have come down substantially along with other building materials.
    (b) Is the AWHO pushing people to withdraw from this seemingly lucrative project by making it unaffordable to people?
    (c) How can the AWHO change an allotted area from plot A to plot B arbitrarily?
    (d) What happens to the amenities promised?(swimming pool, tennis court)
    8. People like me who had put their hard earned savings into this project in 2005 dreaming their house would be ready in a couple of years are facing the prospect of withdrawing from this unaffordable project. Is there any ulterior motive behind the whole drama.?
    9. Readers are requested to visit the following link to see details of similar AFNHB Bangalore Ph iii project for which contracts have been concluded in Dec2008.
    10. If you are also one affected like me join me at this website for discussing future course of action in seeking justice from the authorities concerned.

  24. depps February 13, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    @OG

    To partly attempt to answer ur queries, which are ofcourse genuine.

    constr cost in an apartment complex (i.e. multistorey) is generally around 600 per sq ft. If the specs are gud, which means to say almost of the foll
    (a) Granite counter tops,ceramic tiles, almuminium windows, wooden doors, railings, good kitchen fittings, brass or copper pipes for hot water, geyser, separate storage of water for each unit, etc , the cost generally goes up to 800 – 900 per sq ft.
    In ur case, since it is single unit, cost should be roughly 20 – 25 % more.

    The remaining is forming part of land cost, community facilities incl rds, parks, pool, gym, electrification, stand by generator, sewage and water sup lines, park, boundary wall, certain landscaping, arboriculture, Local access roads etc.

    If u can put a cost on all the above, and think that 2400 turns out to be more, I am sure u would be wiser.
    IMHO AWHO does hide lots of facts – like being unwilling to come under RTI – but they are lot better than Civil sharks.

  25. Guneet Chaudhary February 20, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    Hi all,

    Well, at present I am dealing with AWWA and after going through all the above mentioned information I am convinced that firstly, these organizations should not be called as Welfare Organizations.

    AWHO IS A WELFARE ORGANIZATION?, What a joke? It is more like a private builder, collect money from the people, purchases land, build houses and allot it to the defence personnel. Profit goes out to AWHO.

    Now in this simple process how money is made by Senior Army Officers.

    1. During the survey of a particular area, a token money is collected from the defence personnel those who are interested in purchasing a house in that area. The token money varies from Rupees 10,000 to 25,000. Our defence brethren get excited with the announcement of a new housing scheme coming up in a particular area. Thousands of them apply by paying between 10,000 to 25,000 to AWHO. Crores of rupees is collected in this way. What happens next? AWHO SLEEPS ON THIS PROJECT. e.g. Survey of Kasuali in H.P. ( survey completed in 2000). Now senior officers sitting in Army Headquarters directs the subservient Managing Director of AWHO to deposit this money in a particular bank. The banks are ever ready to oblige the senior officers for the crores of fiixed deposits. So indirectly money is made by all in the loop.

    2. Second step, when the area is allocated and the construction starts. MES ( Military Engineering Service ) is there but the constructions contract is given to Private contractor. Wherever, a project comes up an Army Cdr, or other senior officer also starts construction. No doubt the contractor looks after the welfare of these so called senior officers, and there houses are constructed for a minimal price. (This is welfare activity of AWHO).

    3. Third step, Share is taken from all the contractors, whether they are dealing with wood supply, cement supply, sanitary goods, glasses, marble and mother misc items.

    4. Fourth, once the unit is complete, AWHO increases the price of the flat, keeping in view the rise in consumer price index. The poor defence personnel is forced to give the enhanced cost, if he fails to deposit, his deposit will be forfeited. No one question about this enhancement, the decision of AWHO is final.

    5. Finally the possession of the flat is given with a condition that Personnel will not be able to sell the house to any one with a lien period. What a funny provision? Some one has put all his savings in his flat and in case of emergency he wants to sell it, it is not possible. If you have to transfer you have to pay additional charges in addition to the normal state levy and taxes. Here also money is made in direct and indirect ways.

    ALL THESE WLEFARE ORGANIZATIONS ARE FOR THE WELFARE OF FEW AT THE TOP. NO ONE HAS EVER QUESTIONED, Why a officer when he was a Colonel had drawn forty thousand rupees from his DSOP to pay for the flat and when he retires as an Army Cdr or as a General he purchases a flat/house worth five crores rupees. I am sure General salary is not so much so that he can save five crores in 15 years of service from the rank of Colonel to General. ( Examples are many and details can be provided if asked for).

    GOOLMAL HAI BUS GOOL MAAL HAI.

    The Corruption has become the way of life and only those crib about it, who never get an opportunity to exploit. These days corruption in army is increasing at such a pace that very soon it will surpass the level of corruption in Civil services. One plus point in Army is that no junior officer can question or report about the corrupt means of his seniors to top authorities, whereas in civil that is otherwise. So they have a free run and of course oblige their staff officers with VSMs, PVSM’s and AVSM’s.

    ALLL WLEFARE ORGANIZATIONS IN ARMED PERSONNEL ARE TO BE RESTRUCTURED if this is not possible, then all welfare organizations should be directly under the control of Army. No societies under Society Act. All these societies are just nothing but place of absolute corruption.

    Guneet

  26. Guneet Chaudhary February 20, 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    Hi,

    Oh I read about the demands of the CSD civilian employees who are on hunger strike. Oh! What a surprise, they are asking for their minimum wages. Just minimum basic wages.

    As per the CSD book published by the Ministry of Defence, they have done business of 56000 crores in the last sixty years and they have looked after our men, their families and contributed their profits to different welfare organizations of the Indian Army. As per their records, CSD has contributed 950 crores to Indian Army for welfare activities. Great Job, well done.
    But , have your ever enquired about the wages of civilian staff of CSD. Please do that and you will get a shock of your life?
    As per the Appx E of Para 2.23 of SOP of HQ Western Command, dated 01 April 2008. the basic wages are as follows:
    1. Peon 2550 3200 ( consolidated
    2. Sales Attendant 2650- 4000 ( consolidated
    3. Accountant 5500 9000 ( consolidated0
    4. Asst. Manager 5000 8000
    5. Manager 5500- 9000.

    This includes all allowances, no medical facilities, no service rules. It is shocking that local Cdr has framed their service rules. Any moment he/she can be terminated. The peon in central government is getting 14000/. What a comparison?
    The Constitution of India under Directive Principles provides for Minimum Wages for the employees. But Army is above law, even above constitution. No one can question them.

    CSD is making so much profit every month and it contributes to AWWA and Command funds but no one can give them basic wages guaranteed by the constitution.
    It is shocking that Army Personnel for their own pay and benefits cry in front of every civilian bureaucrat or politician but when they have to give anything from their own funds, then total no. Why it is so? Anyone can answer.

    The things will be alright when the Labour Commissioner issues non bail able warrant against two or three Army Generals and put them behind bars for some days, the whole system will function according to law.

    It is advised that Central Government should dissolve CSD completely, when defence personnel are getting equivalent salary with their civil counter parts, there is no need of this privilege.

    Guneet

  27. Guneet Chaudhary March 27, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    Hi Friends,

    CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION has given an order that AWWA is not part of the Indian Army. Secondly, it should remove all the impediments which gives the impression to the citizens that it is affiliated to Army. It is a NGO.

    Ministry of Defence has given a affidavit that it has never financed or contributed any money to AWWA and no officer of Indian Army is posted to AWWA. ( How truthful, Defence personnel knows it better)

    ARMY CHANGED ITS WEBSITE OVERNIGHT AND THE NAME OF STAFF OFFICER AWW A HAS BEEN DELETED FROM THE WEBSITE. The order has been passed that there will bo no Staff Officers AWWA but the name has been changed to Staff Officers Welfare.

    Still the source of funds is not known. I am afraid it may not be some anitnational source. Gold Help Indian Army to be Transparent.

    Guneet

  28. Eats Shoots and leaves March 28, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    You cannot keep the wimmen from interfering with the Army eg – Pauline
    Bonaparte insisted on accompanying her husband General Victor Emmanual
    Leclerc to an op area. Mrs Duberly went to the Crimea with her Fauji husband in 1854 (rightly snubbed by Q Victoria subsequently); later she participated in a cavalry charge at Gwalior in 1858. Then our Desi General’s wife was similarly eager to join the military show at the Bombay Taj Mahal last year.

  29. Eats Shoots and leaves March 28, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    And World War I was the direct result of a Colonel Commandant’s wife being slighted by Royalty – so hubby Archduke Ferdinand took her to a troop review as a treat on their wedding anniversary. WW II ? The Treaty of Versailles also filed on their wedding day. Watch this space.

  30. indian June 4, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    Plz. talk about the other side of awwa. It’s a weapon used by the CO’s & their wives to torture everybody posted in the unit. A lot of officer’s had to kiss their promotions goodbye because of their respective wives not participating in these so called welfare activities. It is an organization which pampers the ego of pompous senior officer’s wives. They receive gifts for every occasion they grace & even air-tickets under the pretext of attending a welfare meet. Jawans wives are threatened and tortured to make gifts for them and entertain the officer;s wives. It’s high time that this practice is abolished.

  31. condog June 4, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    “Plz. talk about the other side of awwa.”

    But if the memsahibs are colonial propah instead of PBOR casteist nasty, the soldiers will buy -

    From page 39, Chapter “Their Mercenary Calling, 1914-1917, ” Book “The IA” by CC Trench, pub Thames and Hudson 1988:

    “Contributing to the culture shock syndrome was the experience of buying refreshments at canteens from memsahibs – indeed from veritable Lady Sahibs: Lady Egerton, Lady Hicks Beach at Rouen. Capt RS Waters of the 40th Pathans noted: “the Dogras are the politest and gravest in the matter… It was odd to see all these memsahibs behind the counter giving out cake, butter, coffee, bread, oranges, cigarettes, bootlaces to Tommies and our own men who swarmed in. The Mussulmans bought out the shop nearly. He is an adaptable blighter, the Dogra the reverse. The Punjabis are all nuts on French bread and butter “

  32. indian June 4, 2009 at 11:26 pm #

    Oh the memsahibs today are nothing but an epitome of mediocrity. They treat their sahayaks as they please, so he is a baby-sitter, sweeper, cook all rolled into one . If that’s not all he also has to run errands and sometimes help officer’s children with their homework. He has to work on sundays too.
    Where’s the welfare part of awwa? The jawans work hard for officer’s wives and their children and if that’s not enough humiliation their wives work harder and entertain them.

  33. condog June 5, 2009 at 9:49 am #

    pee the dog too, as a paid combatant function

  34. midas June 6, 2009 at 6:40 pm #

    AWWA in its new avtar!

    After the directions of CIC, AWWA is in the process of emerging in its new avtar. The hitherto fore Staff Officers, AWWA have been redesignated as ‘welfare officers’ who will be ‘guided’ by the ‘senior most lady’ in the station.

    The welfare committee may also contribute and pay to NGOs (such as AWWA?) for the any services which may be outsourced to them.

    Veeeerry intelligent indeed! Short-circuit bhi kiya – spark bhi nahi hua.

  35. indian June 7, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    The only solution to this demonic organization is that the junior officer’s & pbor’s wives stop giving in to the pressures of their respective” seniormost ladies”. The only purpose of awwa is to make senior ladies feel important. they don’t do any ground work.If the above mentioned step is taken awwa will surely crumble.

  36. olivegreen June 17, 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    great job done Guneet. May i have ur e-mail id, i can contribute, am sure.

  37. Manoj Gupta June 26, 2009 at 5:46 pm #

    It is not just the parent AWHO but also the societies established as well who are continuing the fleecing acts. In AWHO Project in sector 43, Gurgaon, The management committee led by a retired General ( Ex member of AWHO Management C0ommittee as QMG of Indian Army) has overlooked even the Bye laws (which in any case are archaic and autocratic) and has members in the management committee who have awarded contracts of various services ( Securiry , property, restaurant and Maintenance) to themselves against all morals and ethics. The bye laws debar any person to be member of the management committee who are doing any business with the society.

  38. Guneet Chaudhary July 8, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    Dear Friends,

    By changing the name or the nomenclature Army Can not absolve of the misdeeds of the senior officers wives under the garb of AWWA. Secondly, by putting a suit on Monkey, it can not become a General. The basic issue is that an Organization which has become obsolete in the present times, should either be restructured or dissolved permanently.

    Media is giving good exposure and the harassed wives are coming in the open to air their grievances.

    It will take time but AWWA will change.

    Guneet

  39. s July 9, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    AWHO is a big racket today. the project cost hav been increased without rationale.even in cases like that of greater noida,the cost has incr from 16 lac to 22 lacs quoting increase in cost of building material.private builders are also offering houses at same rates nearby.i dont understand that how can cost increase so much in 2-3 years where as property prices are going down. The quality of construction leaves much to be desired . i had visited one of the houses in ph 1.there was seepage in the walls and plaster was coming off. The entire buliding was dirty and handed over like that.on enquiring from people they said that min 2 lacs have to be spent to make house livable.Even there is a need to hav the costing checked by an independent agency to ensure that army pers are not being taken for a ride

  40. kilamanju July 10, 2009 at 2:46 pm #

    AWWA is nothing but an organization set up to make the ladies feel important amongst themselves. It helps men to have some time on their own, away from their demanding wives when she is in some “awwa function”.

  41. tired July 10, 2009 at 7:29 pm #

    military officers should not be allowed to marry
    eg like as in Sparta.

    OR

    delete all bloodthirsty Auxiliary Wicked Witches Aberrations pronto

  42. tired July 10, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    how does a – PYT- say a captain’s wife transform into an ogress
    after hubby has laboured, manouvred hard and long in military science
    [+ grovelled] and reached level 1 ?

    any havan or mantra or wisdom from Swami Ramdev ji to revert the b/witch to Civility ?

  43. indian July 10, 2009 at 11:48 pm #

    But what havan can combat the mantras given to them by their own husbands?
    Recently the OC told his wife tht she’ll always b superior to the other ladies ‘coz she’s the OC”s wife?
    & The wife allows her husband to consume alcohol indiscriminately ‘coz once in a while he attributes “his success” to his wife in front of a crowd.

  44. s July 10, 2009 at 11:48 pm #

    it calls for cbi enquiry into all awho projects

  45. indian July 10, 2009 at 11:56 pm #

    did u check the breaking news army misusing funds 2 buy golf equipments? we shd have a CAG enquiry into AWWA funds too

  46. s July 11, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    scam of csds

    when you go to buy afd 1 items like tv ac etc u find hardly any difference in prices.where as there is rebate on tax and profit margin is also less.in many cases in connivance with the csd,the items approved in csd are not made available and pers are forced to buy other items in lieu with huge margin to dealers,as they get their margin and also save on tax.

  47. Swordarm July 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    Nice to get mentioned in print – today’s Mail Today :-)
    Finally got to know the name behind ‘Pragmatic’ – keep up the good work Guneet.
    To someone who has castigated him for turning against his own organisation, this is exactly the attitude that needs to be fought if the army has to get out of the mess it is in today. A glance at any of the newspapers today demonstrates the width and depth of this mess – from golf carts to AWWA. And the first step in solving a problem is acknowledging that one exists. Since the established system is not capable of bringing up the problems, forums such as these are playing an important role.
    Bringing out the ills that ail an organisation does NOT amount to trashing the organisation itself. It is indicative of concern for the organisation, and the impact its decline would have on the nation as a whole. Unfortunately, the ethos in the armed forces is so inimical to admitting that anything is wrong – its the old ‘khana khaya?’ syndrome (ask any soldier at any time ‘khana khaya’, he will always answer in the affirmative, irrespective of the facts – at least that is what used to happen in the good old days). This was a derivative of the attitude of not cribbing – so what if the call of duty has delayed your meal, you will never let your senior in on this. This has transmogrified into an attitude where the organisation as a whole refuses to admit that there is anything the matter with any part of it.
    Instead of the bluster and blunder exhibited in the RTI case of AWWA, true facts must be faced, and things set right. Going into denial mode is no solution.

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  1. Pragmatic Euphony » Culture, role and public support for the military - May 13, 2009

    [...] the defenders of the nation? Or should they diversify in to myriad fields in the name of welfare: AWES, AWWA, AWHO – which have all become a racket by themselves. Doesn’t it adversely affect the fighting [...]