Saturday, 18 February 2012


RAJOURI: Indian Army has been organizing a large number of welfare projects for the Awam in the remotest of the area along the Line of Control in Mendhar sector.   In consonance with these SADBHAVANA efforts, an educational and motivational tour for economically backward elders of far flung and border areas of Mendhar, Tain & Chirangari has been organized by Barasingha Bn  under the aegis of Ace of Spades Div  to Kolkata, Darjeeling and Gangtok.

During the tour, the elders will be visiting St Pauls Cathedral,Victoria Memorial, Kalighat Temple, Howrah Bridge and Science City in Kolkata.   The elder will also visit Himalayan Zoological Park, Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, Tsomgo Lake, Tashi view point and Nathula Pass.  At Darjeeling they will visit Lore Bungalow, Rangli Rangliot, Melli, Batasia Loop, Chowrasta, Botanical Garden and Natural History Museum.

Deputy Commander Krishna Ghati Brigade flagged off the tour on 18 Feb 12 from Mendhar town amidst attendance of large number of Civilian dignitaries as well as Awam.  SDM, Mendhar and SDPO.  Mendhar along with large number of civil administration officers and other personnel attended the function.

The Awam expressed their gratitude to the Army for giving an opportunity to their elders to see other parts of the country, which otherwise would have been impossible for them. 


RAJOURI: The Indian Army is playing an important role in the development of J&K through OP SADBHAVNA. On behalf of Ace of Spades Division an educational and motivational tour comprising of 19 school students of Govt Higher Secondary School and Pahari Hostel, Rajouri from different communities and strata of the society and two members of school staff of Govt Higher Secondary School,Rajouri was organised by an Artillery Regiment.

This tour aims at providing exposure to the children of remote areas of Rajouri District to the rich cultural heritage of India as well as spread the message of peace and harmony. The tour also aims to give the students a glimpse of modern India and provide them the opportunity to explore different cultures and traditions.

The tour was flagged off by Maj Gen KH Singh, GOC Ace of Spades Division  on 18Feb 2012 from the Advanced Landing Ground at Rajouri.Mr GA Khwaja,DC Rajouri, Brig TK Chawla Station Commander, were also present on the occasion and met all the children and their parents. The parents were delighted to see their children proceed for the tour as it was one of a kind opportunity for them. The tour is scheduled from 18 Feb to 28 Feb 2012 and will visit prominent places like Jaipur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur and Ajmer.

The tour will help to widen the horizon of the children and help in strengthening the bond of faith and friendship between the local populace and the Army.


KUPWARA: As part of The Indian Army’s continuing endeavour to reach out to the populace, 47 Rashtriya Rifles and 152 Infantry Battalion (TA) SIKH under the aegis of Headquarter  8 Sector Rashtriya Rifles, organized a dress distribution for poor, backward children of village Gujjarpatti & Keegam, District - Kupwara on 18 Feb 2012.  100 children were distributed sweaters by the Army.
The welfare activities undertaken by the Army have indeed helped in bringing the ‘Awam’ even closer.  The villagers were very appreciative of the efforts of the Battalion. The village elders were profusely thankful and wanted such welfare activities to be held at regular intervals. Surely the step will go a long way in fostering bonds of mutual respect and brotherhood between the Army and the local population.


KISHTWAR: An educational cum motivational tour named `FIRDAUS WATAN- IV’ for senior citizens hailing from terrorism affected areas of Kishtwar which wasorganized by Headquarters Counter Insurgency Force (Delta) was flagged in today at Kishtwar by Commander Sector Rashtrya Rifles.

The tour was organised under `Operation Sadbhavana’ and was conducted by a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion under the aegis of Headquarters Counter Insurgency Force(Delta).  A total of 27 senior citizens were taken to Belgaum, Goa and Cochin from 01 Feb 2012 to 15 Feb 2012.

During the tour, the senior citizens had visited the Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre, Commando Wing in Belgaum and were made familiar with the grueling training schedule of a recruit.   In Goa the senior citizens had the unique experience of enjoying the sun on the golden beaches and also an opportunity to visit a Signals Training Centre.  The touring party was also taken to the Naval Base at Cochin and got a chance to visit the war ship INS SARVESHAK.  

A cruise through the back waters of Kerala was an icing on the cake for the touring party.  The touring party was also taken to   various historical land marks to enlighten the senior citizens of the rich history of India. The tour was interspersed with various leisure activities to avoid the on set of tedium.  The flagging in ceremony was attended by senior military and civilian officials were.  The Commander, while speaking to the senior citizens asked about their experiences and shared some light moments with them.
All the senior citizens who were part of the motivational tour have taken back with them ever lasting memories of the trip.  Each and every moment of this trip orgainsed by the Army from Paradise on Earth to Gods own Country was savoured by them.  The touring party also praised the Army who had left no stone unturned to make this trip an outstanding and unforgettable one.  

While interacting with the participants, Mr Ghulam Mohd Khanday said that the tour has opened new horizons for him and he would certainly share the richness of this vast and diverse country of ours with the members of the younger generation of his village. All the participants’ were in unison of the fact that the tour increased their longevity and thirst to explore more of our diverse country. 


UDHAMPUR: The Udhampur based Helicopter Unit received an urgent request from the J&K government on 17 Feb 2012 for evacuating an injured civilian. The civilian was injured in an avalanche and had to be evacuated from village Tanta Kuthal in Doda district. The exact coordinates of the place were not known and it was confirmed that there was no helipad available and the pilot would have to look for a open ground to undertake a landing. 

Wing Commander Ajay Bhardwaj, Commanding Officer of Udhampur based Chetak helicopter unit undertook this challenging task along with Flight Lieutenant Milind as Co pilot. The general area of evacuation was snow bound and the pilots used their experience to identify the site. Since the place was on steep snow bound hill at an elevation of  8000 feet and no open place was available, the villagers had made a roof top as a make shift helipad. 

On identifying the site, the pilots used their superior flying skills to manoeuvre the helicopter so that it could land on the roof top. On landing at the roof top helipad, it was realized that the make shift helipad was not able to take the weight of the helicopter, therefore the Captain of the helicopter, Wing Commander Ajay Bhardwaj decided to hold the helicopter lightly on wheels and load up the casualty. 

The captain displayed exemplary skills and courage to hold on controls when the casualty was being loaded. Thereafter the aircraft got airborne for Jammu where the casualty was handed over to the Medical team for medical aid. The IAF displayed professionalism and their dedication to service to the nation by carrying out this challenging task. The image of the IAF helicopters as being “life savers” in J&K area was once again highlighted.


AKHNOOR: 76 yrs old Kaushalya Devi, a widow from Khor village with no one to take care of her, never even imagined that she would be able to see again.  But, when an Army medical team found her in her secluded house while screening for old cataract patients in August 2011 she knew there was hope. After her free cataract surgery at Military Hospital, she no longer has to depend on her neighbours for most of her daily chores.

The initiative by Cross Swords Division under Operation Sadbhavna to restore vision of needy civilian old patients of far flung areas  like Danger, Jogma, Batal, Kalla, Khor, Bandwal, Dharkhod, Dolidiggar has helped 30 old patients who had lost hope to see clearly again.

The Eye specialist and Anaesthetist screened more than 100 patients for cataract surgery at Military Hospital, Akhnoor. Necessary laboratory investigations were carried out free of cost and 30 patients were shortlisted for surgery. Patients were successfully operated by ‘Sutureless cataract surgery’ (Phacoemulsification) on 20, 21st December 2011 and 24th January 2012 at Military Hospital Jammu. Post surgery periodic reviews have also been carried out by the Eye Specialists and the patients have also been provided with spectacles.

The organizers of the camp ensured that the surgeries were based on latest technique and the intraocular lens implants were of superior quality. Apart from the surgery, it was ensured by military authorities that all patients were provided accommodation for night stay, free transportation and food at Military Hospital Akhnoor, making it an unhassaled experience for the patients.

To mark the finale of the eye camp on 13 Feb 2012 at Military Hospital, Akhnoor Deputy GOC, Cross Swords Division Brig AK Shukla, distributed spectacles to these 30 patients for better vision, clarity and interacted with them lifting their spirits.

By such efforts, Army has opened ways for the poor and needy civilian people to avail better medical facilities to make their lives easier and also generate goodwill for army in J&K. 


SRINAGAR: The importance of young generation to our society and economy has stayed undiminished over the years. Indeed without providing livelihood security to the youth of valley, we cannot achieve the goal of inclusive growth in its true sense. This can be achieved only by engaging the youth in the activities by which they can skill equip themselves and can constructively participate in the growth of economy which in turn will lead to prosperity.
Skill development programme being run at ITI, Bandipore is another step forward to bring the youth of valley to the centre stage and to make them participate in nation building activities by using their skills for the overall growth of the state, as the youth are the workforce of state who can contribute in economic growth. This programme is being run under the aegis of army with collaboration with DRF (Dr Reddy’s Foundation) which is giving training in various fields like ITES, CRS and Hospitality to the youth who are constrained by low income, inadequate skills, irregular employment, absence of opportunities for training and development, indebtedness and weak bargaining power at the economic / social level and getting them placed with various companies. 
The programme started on 16 Dec 2011 for a duration of two months with a strength of 85 students. It is a venture - a first of its types in which all the stake holders (Civil Administration and Army) have held hands together to skill equip the youth of a remote town of Bandipora for a better future. The whole course was divided into various heads like Induction Stage, Interactive Training Stage, Field Visit and Survey, Parent’s counselling Industrial Interface, Guest and Alumni Lecture.
The entire group was taken to Vodafone BPO in Srinagar as part of their training under the head of field visit and survey which was their fourth field visit after KISHANGANGA PROJECT, CAFÉ COFFEE DAY and TAJ VIVANTA at Srinagar. These visits have given a different and broader outlook to them in respect of work culture and ethics of coorporate world. In words of Mr Shafiq Ahmed Bhat, it was their first expereience when they have got a chance to speak to employees of vodafone BPO who explained them about the work of various people working there as tellecallers and technical assistants. 

Another student of hospitality, Miss Shaheena Banoo shared her experience about their visit to Taj Vivanta where they were introduced to the various fields of hospitality industry which covers a wide range of organizations offering food service and accommodation, which is divided into sectors according to the skill-sets required for the work involved like accommodation, food and beverage, meeting and events, gaming, entertainment and recreation, tourism services, and visitor information. The whole of the students came back with fire in their belly to do well and work.


SRINAGAR: Prevailing sociopolitical disturbances in Kashmir valley for last 20 years has played a major role in increasing the number of computes to a staggering figure.   Lack of immunisation facilities for Polio in the past and mutilating cold injuries have also contributed to physical challenges amongst the natives.  With the aim of alienating the physical dependence and associated psycluatric of physically challenged individuals, joint efforts were made by RMO,   14 RR (GARH RIF) and Bhagwan Mahavir Viglang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) of Rajasthan to provide needy individuals with artificial limb supports.
Individuals in batches of four were escorted to regional office of BMVSS in Srinagar over a period of 15 days.  There disabilities were assessed by the experts and suitable limb supports satisfying orthopedic criteria’s were provided free of cost to the poor and needy.  The transportation and refreshment of individuals were taken care of by the Battalion.  

A total of 13 individuals were provided with limb supports which included 7 artificial limbs, 5 crutches and one polio caliper.  The quality of limbs is such that a person can walk comfortably, ride a bicycle, run, jump, dance and even climb a tree.  The social philosophy of BMVSS is to provide free supports to poor and initiative of Army in this regard was highly appreciated.  All the parents expressed true happiness, gratitude and satisfaction and praised Army for helping disabled get back on their feet and revolutionizing their lives.