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In 1965, SSB introduced Civic Action to build micro-infrastructures for the benefit of the border population. The villagers were taught dignity of labour and construction of micro-infrastructure programmes in remote border villages was taken on in a big way, in an inclusive manner. The same was conducted under Shramdhan, Grant-in-Aid and shared expenditure which resulted in the border population coming forth in large numbers to assist the SSB in repairing roads, bridges and drains, cleaning up tanks and wells, laying water supply lines and building public toilets, sports grounds, school buildings, community centres, etc.

 

In 1965, the border areas had no Primary Health Centers. Hence, SSB took on the task of providing medical support to the villagers at their door step. This move turned the tide in favour of the Government as the border men felt they had much to gain from being a part and parcel of the Indian Union. Later, we added distribution of aids and appliances, sponsored gymnasiums and set up rehabilitation centres in the remote border villages. Workshops were conducted on drug abuse, AIDS, alcoholism, etc. In recent years, we have included free of cost cleft lip and cleft palate operations as well in addition to distribution of artificial limbs, etc.

 

As early as 1966, SSB led the way in women empowerment and women emancipation. We first trained border women in self defence and first aid and then went on to take on vocational training for them to make them self reliant, in seven exclusive training centres. The first Woman Advance Training School was then inaugurated at Pauri in Uttar Pradesh by Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi. Keeping up with this tradition, SSB became the first border guarding force to induct women into the Force in June 2008 when seven Coys of women personnel were inducted for Border Guarding duties.

 

From 1966 onwards, SSB took on political education Publicity Campaigns in villages along the border villages for Perception Management. We used tape recorders, 16 mm film projectors and gramophones to educate and motivate. We lived in the villages and addressed the day to day issues of the village population. SSB also emphasized the need for unity and integrated action. We addressed women issues in Woman Awareness Generation Camps and, in due course, women volunteers began to associate in large numbers and augmented SSB’s endeavour, greatly. The role of I&B Ministry in these programmes was also immense.

 

In the year 1989, SSB boosted its services through a veterinary support system for the border population as they were wholly dependent on cattle and livestock for their livelihood. In later years we conducted over 100 farmers training programmes and study tours for the border villagers to understand the best agricultural practices.

 

SSB also contributed in the evolution of the National Security Guards, Special Protection Guards, Indian Coast Guard, Border Security Force (by raising a company in a week’s time before the 1965 War) and raising the Mahila Battalion of CRPF. To tackle the problem of insurgency in Manipur, SSB came up with an innovative idea of raising Village Volunteer Force (VVF) to protect the villages and deprive support for insurgents and also assisted in counter-insurgency operations of the Indian Army and Central Paramilitary forces.

 

SSB has always been guided by its motto of Service, Security and Brotherhood and played both its overt and covert roles in an exemplary manner and grew in strength as a people’s force. When epidemics or disaster struck in the form of earthquake, cloudburst, floods, landslides or riots, SSB was the first to reach for rescue and relief work for the border population. SSB evolved as a unique organization, which, not only promoted national integration and security consciousness among the border populace but also enriched the social fabric, embellished the secular milieu of the nation and rejuvenated dying arts in all the areas in which it was deployed. In fact, the spread of Hindi in Arunachal Pradesh is credited to SSB. By our work and efforts, we, not only successfully restrained many youngsters from falling into the hands of fissiparous elements, but also saved many more from falling prey to drugs and bad habits by making them aware of the fatal repercussions.

 

This Force endeared itself as people’s Force for five decades by focusing hard on the organisational objective, remaining on a low profile and self contented on the sanctimonious words of the founder Director of SSB, Shri B N Mullik, that is, “ Your work is your reward.”  

 

 



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