Monday, 27 February 2012


SONAMARG: We were at the mercy of God and had little or no hope of survival.  Every passing minute brought death closer and closer.  Gradually we were getting physically and mentally numb”. These are the words of Abdul Rafique Lone staying with his relative at Sitkari village of Sonamarg, who miraculously escaped the avalanche due to the timely rescue done by paratroopers of Indian Army.  The low drone of a helicopter over the Rafique and his colleagues really gave them the first ray of hope that things were happening and Allah had answered their prayers.
According to Rafique on 22 Feb 2012, Sonamarg witnessed heavy snowfall and strong winds.  In late afternoon Sitkari village came under unforgiving crush of a massive avalanche, and they were struck inside with no way to move out.
Rafique further brought out the following “On the morning of 24 Feb 2012 at around 9 O’ Clock we heard the distant hum of a helicopter approaching us.  I struggled out of the house and realised that it was an army rescue team, looking for survivors.  I waved my arms to get their attention and fortunately they spotted me.  However the helicopter could not land due to unstable snow that was more than 15 ft thick.  I, then saw an army personnel jumping out of the helicopter into the snow.  He made his way over to me and said that he was Major Khati who was here to rescue us”.
Major Khati from 81 Mountain Brigade, who is a paratrooper, alonwith Rafique’s assistance located and pulled out eight more people who were trapped under snow in general vicinity.  After ensuring that no one was hurt, Major Khati gathered the survivors and set out to beat down the unstable snow, large enough for the helicopter to land. From this make shift helipad, the survivors were airlifted in three sorties. Major Khati left the area only after the last of the survivors had been evacuated.
“We shall forever be grateful to the brave soldiers and pilots of the Indian Armed Forces especially to Major Khati who risked his own life to save ours”.


BUDGAM: The Nations Armed forces are known for their humane efforts for uplifting the lives of people wherever they are deployed.   Keeping in with this tradition, a JCB Excavator training for unemployed youth of Budgam District of Kashmir is being organized under “Operation Sadbhavana” under the aegis of the CIF (K) Force and Chief Engineer Chinar Corps at their Engineering Unit located at Badgam from 06 Feb 2012 for four weeks.  
The noble aim of this training is to make the unemployed youth of Budgam District, self-employed, by earning their livehoods through use of this training. In this humane effort, 21 unemployed youth of the District are being trained in JCB Excavators handling and operations.  The candidates will also be awarded civil driving license through RTO for operating JCB excavator, which will help them to get suitable employment.

One of the elated local youth of the District, Mr. Aijaz Ahmed Dar, studying in second year graduation remarked that “This is a very unique and noblest step by the Army, which will not only make them self dependent but also will bring up the standard of living of the entire community”.  
It is evident from the enthusiasm and interest of these youth of the valley that this training holds a great value in their career building.  This humane step will definitely go a along way for these unemployed youth in finding their feet while striving for self dependency and better future.  After all they are the building blocks for the promising future of the Kashmir Valley.


BANDIPORA: With the mercury showing signs of improvement in the coming days after the bleak winters it was the perfect time for the Army to launch hobby and activity clubs to create greater awareness in the youth about their culture and surroundings. 3 MADRAS Battalion of 81 Mountain Brigade launched the Camera Club, the Eco Club and the Joggers Club at a colourful ceremony in Higher Secondary School, Kuyil in coordination with the Zonal Education Officer. 
The Camera Club would teach school children how to click photographs using digital cameras. Theme based photography competitions to create awareness in ­­preserving the environment, portraying Kashmiri culture and learning about wildlife would be the next step in this direction. The ‘Eco Club’ would be a first step towards creating mission oriented groups of young children in local schools to arrest deforestation and launch a tree plantation drive in the coming summers. On this occasion 39 students of the recently concluded Computer Education Course were also awarded certificates by the Commanding Officer 3 MADRAS and Zonal Education Officer.

The Joggers Club would promote healthy lifestyle amongst the youth. A Mini Marathon ‘Run for Fun’ as part of the youth festival starting on 26thFeb, has also been planned for 04th March at Bandipora in conjunction with the DC, Bandipora and Police. On this day youth from all three directions Bunakut, Erin & Aragam and Aloosa will take part in a Mini Marathon towards the heart of Bandipora and finish at Kulus Higher Secondary School. Besides this a Tri - cycle race for the Physically Challenged will also be organized alongwith a host of activities for girls below 14 years and children by 6 PARA.

A Valedictory Function for the Youth from Bandipora who have successfully completed their two months training as part of the Skill Development Programme “ATHROUT” in Retail, Hospitality and IT Enabling Services will be organised on 2 Feb, which will also mark the commencement of the next four batches of Skill Development Programme under the Youth Employment Generation Node (YEGN).

The ten day long Youth Festival which commenced on 26th Feb will also include “BUZURGON KI DEKHBAL” in which four Medical Camps will be organised to inculcate the Tehzeeb to look after our elders of Bandipora by 14 Rashtriya Rifles. In these camps 80 hearing aids, Tri – Cycles to the physically challenged will also be distributed. A unique feature of this will be to teach the youth in different parts of the Bandipora Tehsil basic First Aid techniques.