Never a fan of AWWA and AWHO, I chanced upon this post in another Blog. Excerpts are appended:-
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
Read the entire post at http://pragmatic.nationalinterest.in/2009/01/24/where-is-welfare-in-awwa-awho/