The soldier's new shoes: Indian Army may replace old footwear with a more modern version
Currently the Indian Army wears World War II vintage canvas boots, akin to PT gear. The shoes have not been updated in years and unsurprisingly, not many soldiers are fond of them.
However, now it seems that the top brass of the Army has finally taken note of the outdated footwear and are seeking to replace it with a more modern version, according to an Indian Express report.
“Today’s jawans don’t like to wear those shoes. They are paid good salaries and wear smart sneakers when they are in civil dress. In fact, we give our unit’s basketball and cross-country teams branded sports shoes from our own regimental funds,” a Colonel commanding an infantry battalion told The Indian Express.
The new sports shoes, once introduced, would have a much longer life-cycle than the canvas shoes lasting for around 12-15 months, continues the report.
This isn't the first time that the Army has sought to replace the Indian Army's shoes with a more feasible option. Back in 2011, the Army planned to equip its soldiers with more comfortable leather sports shoes. However, this attempt was foiled when when animal rights activist and the then BJP MP Maneka Gandhi objected to the use of cow leather for the purpose.
A Times of India report quoted Gandhi as saying, "It is illegal to use cow leather. Army should be the beacon of law in this country. About four lakh cows could be slaughtered to make eight lakh pairs."
Since the initial plan was thwarted while UPA was in power, it remains to be seen if this new attempt will result in new boots for the Indian jawan during the NDA rule.