Monday, June 1, 2009

SALUTE to the Indian Soldier by Maroof Raza

Respected Military Veterans,
Jai Hind.

I salute Veteran Major Maroof Raza, Managing Director and Veteran Cdr Atul Bharadwaj, Editor of "SALUTE to the Indian Soldier", an excellent fortnightly magazine, for its getup, contents & presentation. "SALUTE to the Indian Soldier", is truly worth its weight in Gold; and is a MUST read for both serving Officers and Veterans alike. I wish all Units and Messes subscribe to "SALUTE to the Indian Soldier".

Please click on the following links and go through them.



My salute to Veteran Air Cmde Prashant Dikshit for the Cover Story:


Sappers are always the first to reach the disaster afflicted spot. Providing assistance to Indians in distress across the length and breadth of the country and beyond comes naturally to the Corps, chronicles Veteran Air Cmde Prashant Dikshit.

Our inadequacies in recounting the feats of outstanding dedication and verve of the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army in providing succour to the people in distress and peril are more than made up by our public consciousness. Because Sappers, as they are historically known, have always been omnipresent key players in all rescue and relief activities to have set a benchmark for service to our nation. "The sands of time bear testimony to the innumerable and vast array of indomitable tasks undertaken by the Sappers ranging from construction of dams, roads, jetties and infrastructure to helping in healing the scars of death and destruction in disasters" wrote an eulogy to this entity . Without their helping hands during the cyclone of Orissa in 1999, the earthquake of Bhuj in 2001, the devastations wreaked by the Tsunami in 2004 and the most recent earthquake of 2005 in Jammu and Kashmir; it would have been cataclysmic. The Sappers have been the saviours in the shared beliefs in our nation's history. To term their contribution simplistically as "Disaster Mitigation" therefore , is an act in abject humility.

With a measure of intense nostalgia, one read, in August 1959, of the perilous collapse of the diversion tunnel and flooding of the chamber , galleries and the power house with the waters of the Gobind Sagar reservoir at the nation's showpiece, the iconic Bhakra Dam. The occurrence had threatened the very existence of the dam itself when the Sappers led by Lt Col PLN Choudary had launched "Operation Madhuri" to save the project and lives. In a day and night incessant endeavour, which lasted for nearly four months, they had transported thousands of 20 tons concrete blocks on Bailey rafts to release them at selected points and block the tunnel finally.


Col Rajan,
Bangalore, 9448024377

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