Wednesday 16 September 2020



          Mother India sheds a tear when her soldiers are ‘Killed in Action’. She sheds a tear whenever her  Veteran Son is ill-treated by his own brothers, for  whom he put himself in the ‘Line of Fire’ at the Borders  serving his Motherland.

      On 11 Sep 2020 (the ominous 9/11)  some 8-10 nefarious miscreants entered the compound of ‘Vasant Pride’ in Thakur Complex, Kandivali (East) in Mumbai and physically thrashed a Navy Veteran Madan Sharma ex CHELP. The Senior Sailor had joined the Indian Navy in 1974 and having served for 16 long years joined the Merchant Navy and retired in 2015.  The assault on the Veteran by the miscreants was captured in the CCTV footage of the building. The miscreants then had the audacity to go to the Police Stn and lodge a complaint against the Veteran for sharing a cartoon meme of CM. The Police came to apprehend the Veteran. The family did not open their door and reported the matter to the local MLA, Mr Atul Bhatkhalkar who came with his team and along with the Veteran went to PS to lodge an FIR against the culprits, who were apprehended for assault but soon released on bail.  The Veteran with bruised face and bleeding right eye was admitted to Sanjeevani Hospital Kandivali (West) for treatment and discharged the next day to be with his anxious and disturbed family. 

        The incident was soon flashed on most channels of TV and at 9 pm the same evening Commander Vijay Vadhera, NM(G)(Retd), President NFMC was invited for a debate on Republic TV by Arnab Goswami and other Panellists to protest against the assault on the Veteran by political miscreants. Maj Gen GD Bakshi had been very vociferous and lashed out at the goons while Cdr Vadhera in a dignified manner in no uncertain terms conveyed his displeasure at the happening. He narrated how the Veterans all over the world were treated with respect and reverence, but this kind of atrocity cannot be tolerated and shall cast a demoralising effect on the serving community if no severe action is taken against the political goons.

       There were protest marches observing social distance and COVID Protocol norms at various places including a 6 hours peaceful demonstration on 14 Sep called in by the tri-services All India ESM Jantar Mantar in Delhi. The Rashtriya Sainik Sanstha has in a written Appeal requested the President for President’s Rule in the state(Letter placed below). Defence Minister Rajnath Singh personally called up Veteran Madan Sharma, when he was in the Hospital to console him and convey his best wishes for early recovery (tweet below).

         Veteran Madan Sharma and his supporters along with the Area MLA met the Governor of Maharashtra H.E. Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari on 15 Sep on a courtesy call to brief him on the episode and appeal to him to impress upon the CM to punish the culprits and prevent a recurrence (Pic below). 



         Cdr Vijay Vadhera had scheduled an emergency meeting for the managing committee of Navy Foundation Mumbai Chapter on the morning of 12 Sep and discussed the further course of action in the aftermath of this dastardly event. He sought to meet the Governor of Maharashtra along with two representatives each of Navy foundation Mumbai Chapter and Veteran Sailors Forum to present a Memorandum of Protest on behalf of the Veterans fraternity at Raj Bhavan at 1100 hrs on 16 Sep. However, as the Governor, who holds the additional charge of Goa, had to leave for a week, the meeting had to be postponed. The Memorandum was emailed to the ADC for Governer’s perusal. The Foundation members shall call on the Governer after his return. (the Memorandum is placed below) 


     On 16th-morning Cmde Ramesh Kumar (Retd)(02061-H)(L-717) , Meena Dutta and I paid a visit to Veteran Madan Sharma at his Kandivali home ‘Vasant Pride’, as a courtesy call and enquire about his health. The multistory building has a large garden area in front. Located at 5th Floor they have done up the flat exquisitely. The Veteran met us with a warm smile and introduced us to his humble family. His Daughter Sheela, who’s an Ayurvedic Doctor served us hot tea with a smile, even as Veteran Madan was narrating the unfortunate incident. His Son Sunny, who is an IT engineer working closeby took time off to come and meet us. Their mother met us with moist eyes and had to be consoled by Meena. On behalf of the Navy Foundation Cmde Ramesh and I presented the Veteran with Face Shields and masks. The family has thanked the Veteran Foundations pan India for the enormous support they received from all quarters during the crisis. It was a gratifying interaction going back in footprints of time and discussing old times in the Navy. At the end of our visit even as the family cheerfully bid us goodbye, Sunny delightfully came down to see us off. The glint in his eyes was evident despite his blue face mask.

       Received a Whats App msg from Veteran Madan Sharma on reaching home:

Heartly Thanks a lot to Supporters,

I am very thankful to all media & every individual veteran groups who all are participating in this muhim and support to get justice for me and respect for all the veterans and for the common senior citizens.

Thank you all of you for all the support given to me.

Madan  Sharma (Ex-Navy),

I am not Related to any political party.









(Raj, Madan & Wife Shanti, Ramesh, Sunny and Sheela.

 Kneeling Meena & Unnati)


    On his return from Goa H.E. Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari gave an appointment to Cdr Vijay Vadhera and his team of Veterans and a Veer Nari for 1630 hrs on 24 Sep. The following members were present during the interaction with Governor:

a) Cdr Vijay Vadhera, NM(G)(Retd) -President NFMC

b) Cdr Raj Dutta,(Retd)- Hon Secy NFMC

c) LtCdr Farokh Tarapore, VSM(Retd)- Tres NFMC

d) Dr (Capt) Kanta Mukherjee- Veer Nari NFMC

e) Shashi Kant Mishra- MCERA(Retd) Veteran VSF

f) Ramesh Chander- MCPO(Retd) Veteran VSF

         The staff of the Governor on our request had rigged up the projection screen expeditiously in the Hall for the projection of the Veteran Day Parade Video. Governor warmly greeted all of us with a smile as he entered. Cdr Vadhera presented the Governor with the NFMC Memento and the Fauji magazines as H.E. gladly beckoned us for the group Photograph. Cdr Vadhera introduced all of us before the screening of the Veterans Day Parade wonderful Drone Video on the big screen that was well appreciated by the Governor. Cdr Vadhera briefed the Governor on the dignity and respect accorded to the Veterans the world over, including the ANZAC Day Parade in Australia & New Zealand and similar parades in the USA & some European countries. The Governor was briefed on the First ever Veterans Day Parade held in India at the Marine drive. 

      Cdr Vadhera then presented him with the Memorandum of protest against the assault on Veteran Madan Sharma (on 11 Sep). The Governor read the Memo and assured that he’d write a stern letter to the Maha CM.  Shashikant Mishra sang a Deshbhakti Poem which was well appreciated by the Governor and it was a befitting culmination to a wonderful call-on to the Governor H.E. Bhagat Singh Koshiyari.

        After the call-on, the Veterans assembled outside the Raj Bhawan, where Cdr Vadhera briefed the awaiting press regarding the Governor’s meet and handed over the Press-note to the journalists. 

       The Veterans exchanged greetings, sans a handshake as mandated by COVID protocol, prior setting course to their respective destinations. A rewarding day indeed.

Shano Varuna

Jai Hind

PS: On 16th Sep Six of the miscreants have been taken into Judicial Custody for 14 Days for the mayhem unleashed on the Veteran on 11 Sep.













Thursday 10 September 2020


      'Hope' is a powerful tool for mankind. It works like wizardry, like a torch within you when you are certain that bliss shall presage eventually. You can make things happen.  Even as the COVID-19 gripped the world in its clutches commencing early this year, some extraordinary people, most of them unsung heroes emerged as Corona Warriors. They comprised Health Care workers, Armed Forces and Paramilitary, Policemen, Delivery men and the like. The World bows to them.   



          At the culmination of World War-II, when the nations of the world came together to form UNO in 1945, one of the first things that they discussed was the establishment of an organisation to protect and promote the health of the world’s people, resulting in the constitution of WHO. This organisation found itself stretched to its seams by the first quarter of 2020.          

         Mankind had never ever imagined a world of ‘social distancing’ as it approached the end of 2019. During that period, a variant of Corona that originated from a Lab in Wuhan (China), experimenting with Bats,  soon engulfed the countries of the world and started gulping people in geometric progression. By the end of Feb China, Italy, Spain & USA followed by other nations, were on their knees as the medical fraternity was struggling to deal with this new Pandemic that struck the lungs of people and was highly contagious. The new unknown Virus (a derivative of SARS) was designated COVID-19, that called for special precautionary measures to deal with and arrest its spread. The virus that spreads between people during close contact, via microdroplets produced by coughing, sneezing, or talking. People also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. WHO was trying desperately to propagate measures to arrest its spread and declared it a Public Health Emergency of international concern on 30 Jan 2020. All international flights across the world were ceased and borders sealed, including harbours and ports. The nations of the world were late in enforcing lockdown measures to save humanity. Even as the scientists were struggling to device an antidote/vaccine, the enormity of the Pandemic can be estimated by the fact that by end Apr itself, the COVID-19 positive cases globally were 3.2 million with 2Lakh deaths and rising. By end August the Global positive cases had shot upto 25.6 million (6.8m Active, 17.9m recovered)  with 8.5 Lakh deaths. Slow and graded unlocking was resorted to revive the economy that was getting deflated worldwide.


The first case of the COVID-19  in India was reported on 30 January 2020. As of 30 April, we had  confirmed a total of 31,000 Corona positive cases, 7000 recoveries and 1000 deaths in the country. In end-May India’s figures shot to 1.9 L positive cases with 5000 deaths. These figures were much lower than most countries struggling to control the epidemic, thanks to the able leadership of our PM for enforcing early lockdown measures. On 16 Mar, the union government declared a countrywide lock-down of schools and colleges. Govt Offices were directed to operate on reduced strength. On 17 Mar, The GOI  issued an advisory urging to all Indian states to implement Social Distancing measures as a preventive strategy.  On 22 March 2020, India observed a 14-hour voluntary public curfew at the instance of the Prime Minister. The government followed it up with lockdowns in 75 districts where COVID cases had occurred as well as all major cities. Further, on 24 March, the prime minister ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, affecting the entire 1.3 billion population of India. All markets, malls, shops were closed, except for essential services.  On 14 April, the prime minister extended the ongoing nationwide lockdown till 3 May. From time to time MHA issued Advisories to the citizens through state govt on restrictions imposed on dealing with the epidemic.

           The Doctors, Health care workers, the police, paramilitary and civil defence toiled round the clock in battle mode during this emergency.     All Ministries had been informed of the containment plan. The Ministry of textile had been assigned the task of making sure the availability of protective and medical materials. The Department of Pharmaceuticals was tasked with making sure of the availability of essential medicines. Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution had been asked to ensure availability of essentials. The Ministry of Electronics, Information and Technology launched a smartphone application called  Aarogya Setu to help in "contact tracing and containing the spread" of COVID-19 pandemic in the nation. The World Bank lauded the early deployment of such technology to combat the pandemic. 

       The CDS, Gen Bipin Rawat addressed the press on 01 May and paid his tributes to the Doctors, Health Workers and Corona Warriors. The Armed Forces on Sunday, 03 May in Solidarity conveyed their appreciation to all the Corona Warriors by the display of Formation flying of Fighters and Transport aircraft from Srinagar to Trivanthapuram and Gauhati to Kuchch besides showering of Petals by Helos on the Hospitals treating Corona patients. The Army carried out band displays at various locations in the country and Indian Naval Ships at anchorage carried out illumination and firing of Vary’s pistols at the dusk time at all Naval harbours. (Video below)

       India enhanced the production of PPEs, testing kits, medicines and Ventilators many folds but due to various factors, raced ahead in the COVID numbers. By end August we had 36 L cases, 28 L recovered, 7.8 L active and 65,000 deaths.


              The Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh in his address on a teleconference to Naval personnel on 09 Apr said that the Navy is ready to assist the civilian administration to deal with the Coronavirus epidemic. "Our medical teams have set up Corona Centres, isolation wards, quarantine facilities and requisitioned medical supplies and manufactured equipment in a very short time. Our ships and aircraft are in standby and we are ready to extend support not only to our country also countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR),"   The Navy Chief listed out many of the tasks that the naval officers have carried out in the last few weeks. He said that the Navy has delivered free food rations to the poor, sent essential medical supplies to areas like Andaman and North East. He said that the senior leadership in the Navy is also in contact with veterans to take stock of their health and well being. He lauded the monetary contribution of the naval personnel to the PM CARES Fund, meant to fight this national emergency. "We have to take care of ourselves and our families. We have to make sure that we remain 'caregivers' and not become 'care seekers'. We also have to make sure that our assets like ships and submarines are free of infection," the Navy Chief said. He also asked his officers to maintain "physical distance" instead of "social distance" saying that in the Navy, the staff is socially very close.


            An in-house designed and manufactured ‘Portable Multi-feed Oxygen Manifolds’ by Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam (ND(V)) were handed over to the Collector Visakhapatnam by Admiral Superintendent ND(V) in presence of Command Medical Officer Eastern Naval Command and Principal Andhra Medical College. The set up uses an industrial 6-way radial header to enable one jumbo size Oxygen Bottle to concurrently supply Oxygen to six patients. Five such sets were handed over to the Collector.


      A microcontroller-based portable non-contact thermometer has been developed by Naval Dockyard (Mumbai). This innovative tool has enabled screening body temperature of approx. 20,000 personnel on a daily basis at the entry gates of the Dockyard, thus assisting in preventing the spread of COVID-19 into the Dockyard and the Western Fleet. The low-cost design in the form of a Temperature Gun has an IR based temperature sensor with an accuracy of 0.02 deg. The temperature Gun has been manufactured in-house at a cost of less than Rs. 1000/- 


        The Officers and Sailors of NAY(K), SNC designed and fabricated an “Air Evacuation Pod”  for the safe evacuation of a critical COVID-19 patient from Ships, remote areas or Islands.


     In mid-May Institute of Naval Medicine (INM) Mumbai designed and developed low cost Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that was highly appreciated by medical fraternity as its made of a special fabric with high ‘breathability’ as against other imported PPEs not suitable for hot and humid weather conditions. It was tested and validated by ICMR.

Low Cost PPE by Indian Navy


     The Indian Navy scripted yet another success story of a humanitarian mission when it conducted Operation 'Samudra Setu' by bringing back as many as 3,992 citizens from various countries. Indian Navy ships Jalashwa, Airavat, Shardul and Magar steamed more than 23,000 kilometres during Operation Samudra Setu and undertook the evacuation operation in a smooth and coordinated manner. Rigorous measures were planned and medical and safety protocols unique to the operating environment of ships were meticulously implemented. Ships used for the operation were specially provisioned and the clinics onboard the ships were specially equipped with equipment and facilities needed to treat Covid-19 patients. ...


        While the Lockdown was in force, the Navy Foundation of Mumbai Chapter with over 1200 members was on a high, sending out important Govt Advisories and instructions on Whatsapp to all its members. The President NFMC living in Kharghar, Secy in Borivali and Treasurer in Colaba, the NFMC functioned wonderfully providing regular updates to its veteran members. A video conference meeting of the Committee members of NFMC was held on 31 Mar under the Chairmanship of Cdr Vijay Vadhera, President NFMC. This was followed up with regular VCons twice a week on Monday and Thursday.


       The Chairman discussed the scenario of Lockdown in our nation due to COVID-19. Govt /ECHS letters continued to be promulgated regularly to Naval Veterans via the medium of Whatsapp broadcast by NFMC. He stressed on spreading positive news to all concerned in these difficult times when there is so much of fear-mongering being conveyed on social media. He expressed his view of donation to National Relief fund on behalf of NFMC. The issue was thrown open and brainstorming was done and the majority of Committee members were of the opinion to make the contribution to the CM's Relief Fund for COVID-19 as we belong to the Mumbai Chapter.  It was decided to invite for contributions in the NFMC Fund. Later a meeting would be fixed up with State Govt Officials and President NFMC would present a cheque to the CM on a suitable date and time. CinC was informed of this initiative and he conveyed his pleasure on this benevolent initiative of NFMC. 




                    Two members of our foundation stood out  for exceptional  contribution during COVID. LtCdr Rajeshwari Kori (DyControler of Civil Defence) and her team, were issued a COVID-19 ID card to assist the society for any emergency.  Cdr Angsuman Ojha founder of IESECCI, a non profitable organisation that assists the retired Armed forces personnel to join the Corporate World and deals in their Welfare,  permormed a commendable job during the present crisis. Mustering up a team of experts as ‘COVID Yodhas’ to fight the pandemic.  


       NFMC took the initiative of procuring and distributing Face shields to all the Veterans and spouses including Veer Naris  in mid May. Cdr George Duke assisted in its procurement. In addition Naval Dockyard fabricted 2000 cloth masks for Veterans and delivered them to the Area CMs for further distribution to Veterans. The Committee members of NFMC formed the Area wise Whatsapp groups: Cdr Abhishek Kankan (Thane), Cdr GC Rai (Kharghar), Cdr Kanan Ramdas (Powai), Capt Rakesh Agrawala (Central mumbai), Cdr Guddu Sharma (South Mumbai), Cdr Kamal and Cdr Raj Dutta (Bandra-Vasai Western Suburbs). These cluster groups were invaluable in disseminating localised info to the Veterans of these areas in emergent times as these. The groups were instrumental in the distribution of the Face Shields and masks to all Veterans and Veer Naris, a noble gesture that has been well  appreciated by senior Naval Officers in Command and NHQ.  Dr Gazala Azam Sheikh, a Homeopath  agreed to supply complimentry ‘Arsenicum Album 30’ which had been approved by AYUSH as immunity booster.  This Medicine along with Face shields and Face masks was distributed to all Veterans, a step that drew appreciation of the fraternity.  


A Face Shield and Mask 

distributed to Veterans

      An informative Webinar on Zoom was conducted by Dr LtCdr Farokh Tarapore on ‘Building Positive Health through Immunity’ at on Mon 11 May. The presentation was well attended by over 260 viewers, including some NFMC Veterans as it had been promulgated on NFMC broadcast.

        As the lockdowns were being extended over most parts of our country and Mumbai, it was contemplated to hold our NFMC  AGM on VCon, that was originally planned for 24th May in Hamla for which all arrangements had been tied up and the Managing Committee had visited Hamla and met the CO Cmde RK Singh. For the VCon there were apprehensions on the security aspects on Zoom, so a safe App ‘MS Team’ was firmed up and concurrence obtained from DESA. A weekly VCon was programmed by Cdr Vadhera for all Veterans on important topics by inhouse speakers as a precursor to the VCon AGM on 09 Aug. He spoke on the Role of Navy foundation in an interview with Cdr Ritesh Menon,  LtCdr Farokh spoke on immunity Boosing measures, Cdr Girish Konkar talk on stress Management was enlightening, Surg Cdr Shabeena Tawar, SHO Asvini spoke to the Veterans on the current Pandemic and precautions to be taken. The interest that her talk generated was evident  by the queries generated during the Question hour. Cdr VK Jaitly forcefully spoke on his SWOT analysis of India Post Covid-19.  The purpose of these VCons was twofold. One to make the Veterans getting  use to the VCons besides  keeping them occupied and educating  them on the topics of current interests.

       Virtual AGM of the Navy Foundation Mumbai Chapter was held at 1100 hrs on Sunday 09 Aug on ‘MS Team’ Video Conference App. Along with the Management Committee a large quorum of 173 members including our former CNS Adm Vijai Singh Shekhawat, PVSM, AVSM, VrC, former Patron VAdm Girish Luthra, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, former COM VAdm IC Rao, PVSM, AVSM and founder Secy & President of NFMC  Capt Raj Mohindra attended the VCon meeting. In addition Cmde Pankaj Sharma,PDESA, Cmde Sandeep Chakravarti, Dir RC ECHS, Cmde Simon Xavier, Cd Welfare Offr and Secy RGC(W), Capt Kanchan Mukherjee, SSO(Welfare) and Capt Sunil Anand, CRSO attended. The AGM started with paying of tributes to 27 members of NFMC who had departed for heavenly abode since the last AGM. The President NFMC after his opening address welcomed 93 new members to our fold. The Balance Sheet of FE-2018-19 was passed by the General Body as also the previous minutes and the New Working Rules 2020. The agenda points were discussed with expert comments by PDESA, Dir RC ECHS and Secy RGC(W). The Virtual AGM was a huge success as was evidently reflected in the appreciative comments that the Managing Committee received from the members.   

    In order to achieve synergy amongst the various Navy Foundation Chapters Cdr Vadhera formed a What's App group involving the Management Committee members of the chapters, who have been meeting online every Sunday to discuss informally matters of mutual interest during the period of lockdown. It is a great initiative that is instrumental in keeping the foundations buoyant, by sharing ideas that are welfare-oriented for the Veterans.  


 LtCdr Rajeshwari Kori (Retd) (04473-R)(NFMC L-1081): The First Indian Lady Officer to have sailed in a combat Ship is now the Deputy Controller Civil Defence of Maharashtra presently posted to Raigard district. During the Pandemic She made provisions for medical equipment and grains for hospitals.  Beyond the call of duty during the lockdown, She collaborated with Raigard Collector Nidhi Choudhary in fund collection drive, to  consolidate and meet the demands of the 15 Tehsils under Raigard. She established camps at various locations for distribution of relief material maintaining the safety protocol amongst the staff and locals. She facilitated the return of a Spanish back to his country by liaison with their consulate. During the Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Nisarg’  that lashed the Raigard coast in early June, she rendered help to the villagers in the aftermath of devastation. On Cdr Vadhera’s request She deployed her team to our former CNS Adm L Ramda’s Alibaug farmhouse that was severely affected. The senior Naval Veteran couple had to endure hardship for a few days sans electricity. She later liaised with  Admiral and Mrs Ramdas for facilitating ventilators for Raigad District Hospital and PPEs for crematorium staff. She collaborated with Mrs Lalita Ramdas in upgrading skills of government teachers in online classes for children. She even  aided the ex-Defence community IESECCI founder,  Cdr Angsuman Ojha (Retd) in setting up a COVID clinic at south Mumbai. The Mumbai US consulate appreciated her efforts and made her their alumni for their International Visitors Leadership Program in Disaster Management of 2015. (Link to LtCdr Rajeshwari Kori’s earlier two blogs at the bottom)


Commander Angsuman Ojha(Retd)(03988-N)(NFMC L-676)   An enterprising Naval Officer Cdr Angsuman Ojha after retiring in 2014 as R.O. INS Angre joined High Court Mumbai and AFT as an Advocate. It's heartening to know that he set up an NGO IESECCI for the welfare of the families of Ex-Defence employees. In his own words the essence of all activities of this organisation is to match the considerable experience, expertise and work ethics of our retired service personnel to the requirements of the Public/ Private industry. The organisation bridges the gap between ex-Defence personnel and business for an enriching mutual role.

       Cdr Ojha has been performing exceptionally as a leader of his COVID Warrior team during the current pandemic. He is an admirable Disaster Management specialist, having acquired the First-Hand experience of Tsunami relief Operations in Andaman & Nicobar. On Govt of Maharashtra’s Call, he was the first few to jump into the Band Wagon of COVID Warriors. His initiative in the Telemedicine field and India’s First Video Conferencing App ‘EFAUJI ADDA’ is praiseworthy. (A blog on Cdr Ojha’s initiative on IESECCI below)



        Even as we are still battling with the Pandemic,  preparations are afoot by the Team NFMC for the Veterans Week  celebrations scheduled in Jan 2021 as follows

-- Sunday 03 Jan 2021: T-12 Cricket Match between CinC XI and President NFMC XI

-- Wednesday 06 Jan 2021: Sailing Race on J12 boats CinC Team Vs NFMC Team

-- Sunday 10 Jan 2021: Veterans Day Parade at Marine Drive

-- Thursday 14 Jan2021: Wreath Laying at Colaba War memorial followed by 17th Soman Memorial Lecture at Asvini Auditorium followed by PLD and Lunch. Guest Speaker: VAdm Pradeep Chauhan, AVSM & Bar, VSM (01610-H) (Retd), who is also our member NFMC (L- 648)


Shano Varuna

Jai Hind


Rajeshwari Kori :

Cdr Angsuman Ojha :