Friday, April 30, 2010

Summary of the Historic Gahmar Rally on April 25, 2010

Dear and Respected Sirs and Colleagues,

This is a summary of the Gahmar Historic IESM Rally which was successfully conducted on 25th Apr 10.

Gahmar village, as some of you might not know, is Asia’s largest military veteran populated village. To the west of the village is the Temple of Goddess Kamaksha and to the north is the holy river Ganges. Dividing UP and Bihar is the river Karmanasa on the East of the village and on the far south is the Gahamar railway Station.

There are about one hundred thousand inhabitants in the village of which more than ten thousand are serving military personnel encompassing all three arms of service. An additional five thousand are military veterans and their families settled post retirement. With the blessings of Goddess Kamaksha, no soldier from this village has ever fallen in battle after Independence. Although during the First World War (1914-1919), 928 soldiers from the village went to war and due to an enemy bombardment, 21 soldiers made the supreme sacrifice. To pay homage and respects to these finest men, the names of the 21 fallen soldiers are engraved in stone at the Gahmar Police Station.

After the 14th February rally at Dildar Nagar, it was decided that a similar rally be organized at Rasara (Baliya Dist) and Gahmar on the same lines as that of the March 14 rally at Jantar Mantar. The rallies were organized on 28th March 10 at Rasara and on 25th April at Gahamar

The veterans of Buxar were so excited that they gathered at Buxar Railway Station and as soon as the train reached the station, slogan shouting by the veterans such as “sainik ekta zindabad” “OROP le ke rahengey” “Jai hind” “maa kameksha ki jai” “boley sonihal sat sri akal”. Garlands and flowers were all over the Chief Guest Maj Gen Satbir Singh and Col R.P. Chaturvedi at the railway station itself. A caravan of motorcycles and vehicles was waiting at the U P and Bihar boarder to receive the guest vehicle and a long caravan was there from the boarder all the way up to Gahmar.

The rally has been truly historic in nature. Never before have we witnessed a gathering this huge of military veterans in the nearby areas. The president of Bhootpoorva Sainik Seva Samiti Sh. Capt Markandey Singh organized the rally along with his team of dedicated Veterans of IESM and villagers. More than 5000 to 7000 veterans and their families attended the rally. In these were more than 1000 war widows as well.

Some attendees were Maj Gen Satbir Singh, Col R.P. Chaturvedi, Col Dharmraj Singh (Raj Rif) from village Gahmar, Col Ram Raj Singh (Rajput Regt.), Col Ram Bachan Singh (8 Madras), Col Ranjeet Upadhyay, Col Dinesh (Arty), Maj R. K. Singh (ASC), Col Subhash Upadhyay (Arty) among others.

Many senior veterans attended the rally from nearby areas of Bihar and UP including but not limited to Buxar, Arrah, Danapur, Gazipur, Baliya, Aazamgarh, Varanasi, Chandauli, Chakiya, Allahabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Kanog and Unav.

The speakers in the rally stressed the need to further strengthen and escalate the legitimate demand of military veterans to resolve the rank pension anomaly and to grant, once and for all, One Rank One Pension in its true essence.

In addition to this core issue, the other major issues addressed by the respected speakers were ECHS, setting up a Sainik School in Gahmar, Pension disbursement grievances and facilities like CSD and Recruitment Rally etc. in the area.

In the rally, senior veterans including a 70 year war widow, a 104 year old veteran and some disabled veterans and war widows were honored and paid respects by presenting Shawls. The Chief Guest of the rally, Maj Gen Satbir Singh, was presented with a special Turban, Kripan, a Shawl and a photograph of Patna Sahib specially brought from Gurudwara Patna Sahib.

Other guests including Col R. P. Chaturvedi, Capt. Sharma, Hav P. N. Shrivastava and self were presented with Shawls.

The absence of Gen Raj Kadyan was deeply felt by everyone. Maj Gen Satbir sir informed the rally about the absence of Gen Kadyan and apologized to the veterans for his absence. At the same time, Gen Satbir sir motivated and inspired the rally with his forceful and strong words of motivation and encouragement for the veterans and their families.

Veterans present at the rally unanimously and swore to stand shoulder to shoulder with the general in the fight for justice for defence forces and to stick together in thick and thin regardless. Such was the magic of the General’s words that his speech was punctuated with thunderous applause and slogan shouting by the mesmerized veterans such as “sainik ekta zindabad” “OROP le ke rahengey” “Jai hind” “maa kameksha ki jai” Boley sonihal satshriya kal.

Leaders raised points about the need to increase the membership drive and to stick together as one unit in this battle for justice. Col Chaturvedi threw light on Necessity of the IESM Birth and the issue of ECHS facilities and made the veterans aware of their rights to certain facilities.

Self raised the point for the unity amongst all ESM organizations. Self also raised the point to ignore the false propaganda of OROP being granted by misleading agents of Govt who are also ESM but are like Jai Chand for the ESm community.

Such was the harmony and oneness at the rally that all the speakers and the spoken both fell in love with each other. The rally has truly united the ESM community of the area and the IESM OROP movement has been truly reborn and revitalized there. Many new upcoming local leaders have been identified and thus the mission is truly reaching the grassroots of ESM community.

The rally has been a thumping success. On behalf of the ESM community of the area, I thank all the honorable senior officers and my colleagues who took the time to attend and address the rally. With such successful rallies and drives I am certain that the day is not too far away when the government will have no option but to grant our just and legitimate demand of One Rank One Pension.

Some of the Photos and News cuttings are attached with this mail.

Jai Hind.


Kameshwar Pandey
Sub/Maj Hony. Lt. (Veteran)

230, Pocket-1,
DDA SFS Flats, Sector-1,
Dwarka, New Delhi - 110 075

Cell : +91-9811059825
Home: +91-11-3296 6701

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