VETERANS ON VIJAY DIWAS
The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.
The sanctity of our Battlefields, War monuments and military history need to be preserved and propagated to the younger generation by our Veterans who are the true light-houses of our society. To commemorate Vijay Diwas the following Veteran’s volunteered for Kargil Day Pep Talks in Schools of Mumbai, on request by NFMC Secy and as desired by WNC.
a) Cdr Shailendra Sharma – NCS Colaba (26Jul)
b) Cdr Vineet Wason – KV No-1 Colaba (26Jul)
c) Cdr Rakesh Jaggi - KV Mankhurd (26Jul)
d) Cdr GC Rai – KV No-2 Colaba (25Jul)
e) Cdr Abhishek Kankan – KV No-3 Colaba (25 Jul)
f) LtCdr Rajeshwari Kori – KV Karanja (25 Jul)
g) Cdr Rajinder Dutta – Vidya Vikasini, Vasai (25 Jul)
The motivational clips were shared on NFMC Committee Whatsapp group by Cdr V Vadhera, Secy NFMC for the Veterans to prepare their talk. The Pep-talk photos are attached below.
I contacted Reverend Br Wilfred, the Principal of St Francis Borivali for the Kargil Day Pep-talk in their School.
Br Wilfred mentioned that he desired to invite me for the School’s Independence
Day celebrations and connected me to his colleague Br Jose Malana, Principal of
Vidya Vikasini, Vasai. Br
Jose had organised a cultural program by students on the Kargil theme at 1100
hrs on 25 Jul and extended an invitation to me and Meena a week prior and we
had been intently looking forward to the School’s Propitious ceremony. Morning
on the D Day we were driving up north over the Ghordbandar Bridge towards Vasai.
While Meena was looking elegant in her Brown Khadi suit, I in my NFMC Veteran
Blazer was behind the wheel. We reached the School at 1030 hrs and were
pleasantly greeted by the Principal, Reverend Br Jose at the School gate and
escorted to his Office. We had pleasant interaction while the children were being
lined-up to the Auditorium for the show. Br Jose had spent his early childhood
in the beautiful greenery of Kottayam adjoining the Vembanad Lake of Kerela.
After his Schooling, he shifted to Bangalore in the early 80s for graduation followed
by St Xaviers Mumbai for BEd before embarking in the field of Education. On the
hour we were informed of the readiness and proceeded to the Auditorium. The
band lined up either side of the hall entrance played the welcome tune as the
smartly dressed student Guides saluted and escorted us. As we reached the
entrance, a lady Teacher pinned a welcome brooch on our collars. I shook hands
with each of the band members with genuine appreciation. We were overwhelmed by a standing ovation by students in the
house full Auditorium. Ms Sapna the program coordinator introduced me to the
audience before the commencement of a scintillating cultural programme on the theme
‘Kargil’. The first item was the oath-taking followed by a Group song, A skit
‘Coffee with Karan’ that was an interview of a Kargil Soldier. Dance Drama
performance by students enacting the buildup, obstacle courses (BPT) and
conquest of the Tiger hill. An act on ‘Sandese aate hain’. The coordinated
music added to the effects to raise once goose-pimples. Kudos to the students
for the stupendous performance and salutes to the Teachers who guided them
during the rehearsals, viz. Ms Elizabeth Ashley, Ms Sapna Mahajan, Ms Sweeta Ghoshal and Ms Linnet Britto.
I commenced my talk with a short
story of my induction into the Indian Navy as a Pilot, followed by the reasons
of the Kargil intrusions and the role of Army, Air Force and Navy in the Kargil
War. It was followed by the recent release of 8 mins clip on 20th Anniv of
Vijay Diwas in Amitabh Bachchan’s deep baritone. I returned to the stage to motivate the students
for the Armed Forces and was overwhelmed to see that the majority of students’
lifted up their hands for this noble profession. I then, on behalf of NFMC, called upon
the Principal Br Jose to accept a small Memento (a Sea-cap) of my last NCC
unit, amongst a huge round of applause from his students and teachers. After a
Gp Photo with the coordinating teachers Br Jose escorted us out.
Br Jose took us on a walk-round of the School including the playgrounds. The School has won quite a few international
awards for excellence in education. I found the students’ discipline of a high
order. The Principal accompanied us for a delectable Biryani lunch in his
office. He escorted us back to our car with an open invitation to this school
on any future date. We warmly shook hands as I set course to Borivali, after a stupendous memorable day at Vidya Vikasini School.
While I was driving back to Borivali, my eyes were moist for the 527 Sons of India that we lost in Kargil and these words were repeatedly playing in my mind,
Shaheedon ki Chitaon par har baras lagenge Mele,
Watan pe mitne walon ka yahi aakhri Nisaan hoga….
Jai Hind !
20th Anniv of Kargil Vijay Diwas, click link below
About the Author:
Commander Rajinder Dutta (Retd 2014) has been a Naval Pilot and a Qualified Flying Instructor with about 3000 hrs of flying on various fixed wing Aircraft of Indian Navy, viz HT-2, HPT-32, Kirans, Islander, Super-Connie, Fokker F-27 and IL-38.
He is a trainer for SSB aspirants, Master of Ceremonies and a Blogger.