The Kargil War was fought between India and Pakistan between May and July 1999, in the Kargil district of Kashmir and along the Line of Control. During the War, the Indian Army evicted Pakistani intruders and succeeded in capturing Tiger Hill and other posts, as part of Operation Vijay. The 22nd anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas is going to be held on 26 July, with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Kargil War Memorial, Dras, followed by various other commemorative and solemn functions. To commemorate the commencement of this solemn occasion, NCC cadets of Gujarat have made around 30000 handmade cards for all the soldiers, who lost their lives in the Kargil War.
In a brief ceremony held at Headquarters Northern Command, Lieutenant General Y.K. Joshi, General Officer Commanding in Chief, Northern Command received 29,566 cards made by NCC cadets of Gujarat with the spirit of patriotism to inspire the soldiers deployed along the Line of Control, Line of Actual Control and the hinterland in the UTs of J&K and Ladakh. The cards arrived at Udhampur in the early hours of Tuesday, escorted by NCC personnel from Gujarat and were presented to the Northern Army Commander. While speaking at the cards presentation ceremony, Lieutenant General Y.K. Joshi commended the spirit of patriotism exhibited by the people of Gujarat in general and the NCC Cadets in particular through a novel and innovative way of telling the soldiers on the line of duty that the nation supports them with heart and soul.
The Army Commander Northern Command quoted GK Chesterton, a British writer, philosopher and theologian who had once said, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” The Army Commander also said “No soldier marches into battle merely to destroy for the sake of destroying. He marches not because he is trying to break free from something, but because he is bound to something. This gesture by the NCC Directorate, Gujarat will assure each soldier on the front line that the hardship he bears and the sacrifices he and his family make on a daily basis are not going unrecognised and the citizens of India particularly the youth, are grateful to him for the efforts”. The Northern Army Commander thanked Vijay Rupani, the Chief Minister of Gujarat for his words in the honour of Kargil war heroes at the ceremony to Flag Off the cards on 17 July and said that such gestures by the leaders go a long way in infusing the sense of pride among soldiers and their families.
THE CONCEPT AND THE EFFORT
This is part of Phase 5 of the #EkMaiSauKeLiye Campaign, which was formally launched by the Chief Minister of Gujarat on 3 July, aptly titled, “Kargil Ke Veeron Ko Gujarat Ka Aabhaar”, keeping in sync with the 22nd anniversary of the Kargil War. In this phase, from 4 to 15 July, the NCC cadets of Gujarat made around 30000 handmade cards and also posted a large number of messages on social media, highlighting the sacrifices, and valour of our Armed Forces and reiterated their commitment to work for the well-being of their fellow countrymen. These cards are also a medium for these young cadets to honour the memory of the martyrs and the Armed Forces personnel who are guarding the national borders round the clock under adverse conditions.
Brigadier Nirav Raizada, Group Commander, NCC Group Headquarters Ahmedabad ceremoniously dispatched 30,000 cards made by the NCC cadets of Gujarat from Ahmedabad railway station on 18 July, to HQs Northern Command, Udhampur, and will be carried by the Western Railway, under the aegis of the Gujarat NCC Directorate by train from Ahmedabad to Jammu and further onto Udhampur. At Udhampur, all the cartons containing these cards were received yesterday by Lieutenant General YK Joshi, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, and Northern Command. The General officer, who was then a Lieutenant Colonel, in the Kargil war, led the 13th Battalion of the JAK RIF in Dras and was awarded the Vir Chakra gallantry award in this action. For these NCC cadets and the youth of the Nation, Lieutenant General YK Joshi, UYSM, AVSM, VrC, SM is an icon to emulate and this endeavour should motivate more youth to initially join the NCC and subsequently the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Between 21 to 25 July, these 30000 cards will be handed over to all the soldiers deployed in the Kargil sector, as a mark of gratitude from the NCC cadets of the State of Gujarat and would be Gujarat states major contribution, through the NCC cadets of Gujarat, towards recognising the contribution made by the Armed Forces, during the Kargil War. The same would also go a long way in motivating the youth of the state and NCC cadets in particular, on a very solemn National occasion, as also convey respect from the people of Gujarat, for all the soldiers who laid down their lives in the Kargil war in 1999, as also all the soldiers who are presently deployed on the national borders, making Gujarat, the one State which has connected to the troops in Kargil, as well as motivated the youth in the entire State, towards meeting their Social Service and Community Development responsibilities and contribute towards Nation Building.
On 17 July, the Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani had flagged off the consignment of 29,566 cards which were made by NCC Cadets from NCC Directorate, Gujarat, ably led by Maj Gen Arvind Kapoor, the Additional Director General. The cards were dedicated to the memory of Kargil Martyrs. The Northern Army Commander thanked Maj General Arvind Kapoor for the conceptualisation and launch of the campaign in support of Kargil War Heroes. The Chief Minister on 3 July had pushed forward a campaign “Kargil Ke Veeron Ko Gujarat Ka Aabhaar” as a symbol of gratitude to the Kargil Heroes and the soldiers currently deployed at Kargil and our national borders. The effort of the cadets was recognised by the World Book of Records, London and has been awarded a certificate of commitment. The cards are a step towards the immortalisation of the soldierly spirit with which the warriors fought on the rocky heights at the Line of Control during Operation Vijay.
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