Retired officials of Sainik Board, and uniformed employees of Kerala government – including police, fire, jail and excise departments – can apply.

Blurred image of a woman home guard sanding in her uniform and capImage for representation / Credit - Picxy.com/rajastills
news Law and Order Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 19:10

In November 2009, Government of Kerala released a circular to revive home guards in the state, as per the Kerala Home Guards Act, 1960. A total of 3,000 home guards were selected from retired personnel in the military, navy, air force, border security force, police, fire force, excise and so on, to be home guards in the state. However, 11 years later, there is still no woman home guard in the force. A new government order says that there should be 30% reservation for women among home guards, attached to the fire and rescue stations.

"It is a good move. It is not that there was any rule that said women home guards were not allowed in the force. It just so happened that no woman has ever applied for it until now. However, after Sreelekha madam joined (as Director General of Fire and Rescue), a woman who is a retired sub inspector from Kasargod had contacted her to apply as home guard,” says M Noushad, Director of Administration, Fire and Rescue Services.


Govt order in 2009 for reviving home guards

Interestingly the website of the Directorate General of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards under the Union Home Ministry says that the home guard organisation is 'spread over in all states and union territories except in Kerala'. The total strength of home guards in the country is listed as 5,73,793.

However, Noushad says that home guards were appointed every year since 2009, and there have always been 3,000 of them across the state. District level administration – district police chief or commissioner, District Sainik Welfare Board, and Fire and Rescue District Officer – do the recruitment after conducting a physical test.

Retired officials of Sainik Board, and uniformed employees of Kerala government – including police, fire, jail and excise departments – can apply, Noushad says.

“Preference is given to younger people,” he adds.

The 2009 order says that home guards can be used for fire fighting and rescue, traffic control and regulations, organisation of festivals and functions, national calamities including civil defence operations, as special police constables at the time of election, static protection, patrol assistance and community policing.

Also read: Woman in an almirah: Unique Kerala art project depicts women’s emotions during lockdown

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