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Devendra asked: What is the connotation of the term “quality of life” for a soldier in the Indian Army? What are the indicators of a good quality of life?

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  • Pradeep Singh Chhonkar replies: Quality of life is a broad concept that encompasses a number of different dimensions. It encompasses both objective factors (health, work culture, living conditions, etc) and the subjective perception one has about them. The latter depends significantly on individual’s priorities and needs. The connotation of the term “quality of life” remains universal whether it is for a uniformed or a non-uniformed person. However, the approach towards this facet differs in the case of Indian Army essentially due to its own set of values, ethos and work culture. The Indian Army offers variety of challenges, excitement and situations, which are viewed through its self defined prism of honour, well being and safety based on the core principles embedded in the Chetwode Motto as given below:

    “The safety, honour and welfare of your country comes first, always and everytime the honour and welfare of the men you command come next your own safety, honour and welfare comes last, always and everytime”

    Quality of life is an important attribute of army life which has no parallel in any other service. Besides general well being, health, comfort and happiness, there are a number of intangibles that make the quality of life of a soldier in the army. Some of these intangibles include honour, social status, noble profession, service of the motherland and the ethos of service before self.

    There can be numerous measurements for identifying good quality of life. Some of the significant indicators of a good quality of life in the army are as given below:

    • Sense of professional achievement
    • Adherence to the hierarchical chain of command
    • Organisational and self-discipline
    • Health and fitness
    • Financial and physical safety
    • Education
    • Family
    • Fulfilment of needs (physical, intellectual, social and spiritual)
    • Material living conditions (income and material conditions)
    • Adventurous life
    • Living environment
    • Overall experience of life (life satisfaction, emotional status and psychological functioning)

    Posted on May 24, 2018