NAVY FOUNDATION MUMBAI CHAPTER
REFLECTIONS OF - 2021
Having conducted the Veterans Day activities including the First ever Veterans Day Parade at Marine Drive last year, the World was hit by the Pandemic hard. 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 2020 under the Chairmanship of Cdr Vijay Vadhera, President NFMC. This was followed up with regular VCons twice a month every 2nd and 4th Thursdays.
The Veterans Day events were conducted in 2020 in a marvellous fashion and NFMC had planned similar treats for 2021 in a more glorious way, but the current ongoing Pandemic forced us to shelve the fanfare.
The Managing Committee, in consultation with HQWNC, therefore decided NOT to go ahead with *T-12 Cricket Match* scheduled on 03 Jan 21, *Sailing Race* scheduled on 06 Jan 21 and *Veterans Day Parade* scheduled on Sunday 10 Jan 2021.
Ø SOMAN MEMORIAL LECTURE 18th Admiral Soman Lecture this time was held virtually on MS Team at 1900 hrs on *Thursday 14 Jan 2021 and the Guest Speaker was *Cmde Srikant Kesnur, Director Maritime War College, who spoke eloquently on *Memory & Remembrance-Ties that bind Veterans with Navy and Nation*
Ø VETERANS DAY GIFT TO OCTOGENARIANS AND VEER NARIS: Inspired by the noble gesture of FOCinC (South) distributing a Box of Plum Cakes to all the Veterans of Kochi Chapter, team NFMC couriered 140 boxes of American Almonds along with an exquisitely designed Naval Greeting Card felicitating all Octogenarians, Veer Naris and Medical Officers of the 4 ECHSs of Mumbai Region. The effort was well appreciated by all Veterans.
REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATIONS : Veterans were invited by local Colleges and societies for their Flag hoisting ceremony during the Republic Day 2021. (pics below)
VETERANS INVITED BY BANGLADESH CONSULULATE : Md Lutfor Rahman, Dep High Commissioner of Bangladesh invited a few Veterans and Veer Naris on the International Mother Language Day & Martyrs Day on 21 Feb 2021 in President Hotel Cuff Parade. Veterans were also invited for Mujib Anniv and their Children’s Day at same location on 17 Mar 2021. (Pics below). Dep High Commissioner of Bangladesh felicitated 20 Armed Forces Veterans including LtGen Brar (Blue star fame) and 15 NFMC members on 09 Oct 2021, as part of Golden Jubilee celebrations of 1971 Bangladesh Liberation, by inviting the Governor of Mah, H.E. Shri Bhagat Singh Koshiyari as Chief Guest at a function at the Marathi Press club.
PRESENTATION OF QUARTER DECK 2021 : Quarter Deck 2021 magazines received for DESA were distributed to Veterans by Committee members in respective areas. The Senior Octogenarians are were presented in person by visiting them.
MONTHLY VCON LECTURES : NFMC monthly VCon lectures commenced from Jun last year. So far 27 lectures have been held. Apart from the 18th Soman memorial Lecture on 14 Jan 2021 as mentioned above, the following VCon lectures were conducted during this year:
Sun 31 Jan 2021 at 1900 hrs, VCon on ZOOM on "Eye Care by Veterans" by Dr Archana Chowdhry (Opthamologist), W/O Surg LtCdr Jiten Chowdhry (NFMC MUM-0732).
Fri 19 Mar 2021 at 1830 hrs, VCon on ZOOM on "Eat What You Grow" by Veteran LtCdr CV Prakash (S/M), winner of the Man of Excellence Award by Indian Achievers Forum 2020-21.
Sunday 11 Apr 21 at 1130 hrs , VCon on MS Team Subject *Covid Vaccination-Myths v/s Reality* by *Surg Capt PS Thampi*, DM(Pulm), FCCP(USA)(75266)(MUM-0023)
Sunday 30 May 21 at 7pm, VCon on Zoom :"Black Fungus, early detection and cure" by *Surg Capt PS Thampi*, DM(Pulm), FCCP(USA)(75266)(MUM-0023)
Mon 21 Jun 21 at 7pm, VCon on Zoom : "The Covid Conundrum" by Dr Cynthia Amrutha SuKumar,MD(Med), daughter of our Outstation member Cdr Joseph Sukumar(S/M) ( 40997-B) (MUM-1047 TY) fm Manipal.
Sun 18 Jul 21 at 6pm, VCon on Zoom : "Cataract and Eye Donation" by Dr Purvasha Narang, MS, DNB (Opthalmology) from Ambala, daughter of our esteemed NFMC member Cmde Padmakar Singh (02384-T)(MUM-0196).
Sat 21 Aug 21 at 11 am on Zoom :"Emotion and Disease" by Cdr Ritesh Menon (Retd) (03866-K)(MUM-0663)
Fri 10 Sep 21 at 11am on Zoom : "Shifting Geopolitical Landscape" by former FOCinC (West) and Patron NFMC, VAdm Shekhar Sinha, PVSM, AVSM. NM & Bar (Retd)(01480-N)(MUM-0667)
Fri 15 Oct 21 at 11 am on Zoom : "Armed Forces Tribunal-a Gateway to justice for Veterans" by former DGCG ,COP & at present President Navy Foundation, Dehradun Chapter, VAdm AG Thapliyal, AVSM & Bar (Retd)(01773-B)
Fri 19 Nov 21 at 11 am on Zoom : INDIA’S MARITIME ECONOMY by Cmde AJ Singh, (02226-H) (S/M) ( Retd.), VP IMF & VP NFDC.
Sat 25 Dec 21 at 11 am on Zoom : Omicron Variant : Myth Vs Reality by Col Mesh Ram, Hematologist INHS Asvini.
COVID VACCINATION OF VETERANS, SPOUSES & VEER NARIS
INHS Asvini had started vaccination of Veterans and families at the Asvini ECHS from 22 Mar 2021. It had been conducted satisfactorily in an orderly manner, observing the COVID protocol. Kudos to medical staff of Asvini for the special care rendered to Veterans and Veer Naris throughout the year.
MATRIMONIAL ALLIANCE : NFMC has been broadcasting Matrimonial Alliance among its members in respect of children of Veterans and Veer Naris. On 30-31 Mar 2021 one such marriage was solemnised in Chennai, when Ms Aakanksha (daughter of Veer nari Smt Latha Srinivasan and late Cdr TS Srinivasan) got married to Chiranjeevi Anirudh (Son of Cdr B Chandrasekhar (Retd) and Smt Kalyani). On behalf of President NFMC and the managing committee the newly weds were presented a Wedding Gift by our NFMC member from Chennai Cdr Arokya Samy (S/M)(02182-H)(NFMC MUM-1224) during the wedding.
This was the 4th Matrimonial Alliance that has fructified by NFMC. The groom’s father Cdr B Chandrasekhar ecstatically remarked, “Marriages are made in NFMC, performed by us Veterans”
NFMC AGM 25 APR 2021 : The second Virtual Annual General Body meeting of the Navy Foundation , Mumbai Chapter was held at 1100 hrs. on Sunday 25 APR 2021 on “MS Team Video Conference App” . The Core Committee & Co-opted members of NFMC and a large quorum of 125 members, including our former CsNS Adm L Ramdas, PVSM, AVSM,VrC, VSM and Adm Vijai Singh Shekhawat, PVSM, AVSM, VrC , former Patron VAdm Shekhar Sinha, PVSM, AVSM, NM & Bar, former DGCG VAdm RF Contractor, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, VAdm Pradeep Chauhan, AVSM & Bar, VSM, , RAdm Sushil Ramsey (60160-A) (Retd), President NFDC, RAdm T Sudhakar(60301-Y)(Retd), VP NFVC and founder Secy & President of NFMC Capt Raj Mohindra attended the VCon AGM.
SIXTH RGC MEETING BY HQWNC The 6th RGC meeting was conducted online on the Webex by HQWNC on 01 Jul 2021. The online meet was chaired by VAdm Hari Kumar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, FOCinC (West) in which HQs staff and Presidents & Secretaries of all Chapters from Mumbai, Pune, Goa and Bangalore participated. Agenda points forwarded by the chapters were addressed and discussed in detail. The MOM by HQWNC dated 14 Jul 2021 have been shared with all NFMC Veterans.
GOVERNOR’S FELICITATION The Governor of Maharashtra, H.E. Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari felicitated five NFMC Veterans and Veer Naris, amongst others with ‘Martrabhumi Bhushan Samman’ on 18 Aug 2021 at the Governor’s House. The following NFMC members received the Award :
a) Cdr Vijay Vadhera, NM(G) – President NFMC
b) Veer Nari Dr Kanta Mukherjee
c) Veer Nari Karzin Mogal
d) Cmde Biman Mistry - Veteran
e) Capt KP Hiridasan – Veteran
SWARNIM VIJAY VARSH: The Western edition of the Victory Flame (Vijay Mashal) visited Mumbai from 01 to 09 Sep. It was received by CM (Mah) at the Gateway of India, where an impressive function amidst a flypast was held and the Chakra awardees of 1971 War were felicitated. Next day the Flame was received by our C-in-C at the War Memorial in Naval Dockyard followed by felicitation of our War Veterans at the Killer Squadron. The Flame also visited the Anchorage at Juhu on 04 Sep, received by NOIC (Mah), where the resident War Veterans were felicitated. The Victory flame after visiting the homes of other Gallantry awardees of ’71 War, left for Goa on 09 Sep.
1971 OP TRIDENT TRACK-CHART PRESENTED: Veteran Capt SS Sethi, who was part of Op Trident as NO Betwa, charted real time tracks of the fleet and presented a framed replica each to Fleet Commander and CO Betwa 0n 28 Sep. Cdr Vadhera, President NFMC had facilitated this through HQWNC. The track-charts will help in better appreciation of OP Trident to young Naval Officers. The track chart was also presented to the C-in-C during the At-Home function after the Beating Retreat on Navy Day.
PRESENTATION OF OCTOGENARIAN MEMENTOS: NFMC CMs presented the CNS and NFMC mementos to Snr Veteran members who became Octogenarians on their Birthday and started drawing 20% enhanced pensions.
NFMC COMMITTEE GETTOGETHER AT HAMLA A get-together was organised for the Veterans and spouses of NFMC Managing committee members at INS Hamla shacks on dutch expenses basis 18-20 Oct, to unwind prior to the planning and organising the Veterans Day events in Jan 2022.
CINC HOSTS VETERENS: VAdm R Hari Kumar PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Sword-Arm of our fine Indian Navy invited all Veterans with spouses of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka for lunch at 1200 hrs on 07 Nov 2021. Invitation was flashed in major local dailies much in advance.
The CinC presented a Cheque of Rs 1 Lakh to NFMC and lauded the foundation for the welfare measures being undertaken for the Veterans and Veer Naris.
NAVY BAND CONCERT: Indian Navy Symphonic Band Concert was conducted in Mulla Auditorium at 1700 hrs on 11th Nov, organised by INS Kunjali. 25 Veteran couples received an e-invite, on first come basis. The Auditorium was houseful and with serving officers, Veterans and ladies, maintaining the Covid Protocol of masks and alternate vacant seats. Refreshments for all were organised at the Lawns after the spectacular show.
BEATING RETREAT & TATTOO CEREMONY On the occasion of Navy Day Beating retreat and Tattoo ceremony was conducted by HQWNC on 03 and 04 Dec 2021, which was attended by a large number of Veterans, spouses and Veer Naris. The Chief host for the Evening for BRTC 2021 was our new C-in-C VAdm Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM, who received the Chief Guest HE Shri Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. After the spectacular event the dignitaries were invited for the At Home in C-in-C’s Lawns for meet and greet and delectable drink and snacks.
VETERANS DAY 2022 : The following is the programme for Veterans Day activities for Jan 2022 approved by HQWNC :--
a) AM Sunday 02 Jan 2022 = 1000-1230 hrs T-12 Cricket Match between CinC XI and President NFMC XI at Kohli stadium .
b) PM Mon 03 Jan 2022 = J-24 Yachting race between Retired & Serving Naval Officers
c) Sunday 09 Jan 2022 = Veterans Day Parade on Marine Drive. All arrangements accomplished including approval of Mumbai Police Commissioner. A Feature Documentary being filmed by Internationally acclaimed Director Mt Ananth Mahadevan under the Banner of AGP World. However due to Variant of Concern-Omicron's exponential rise, this event has been shelved in 2022 too. (Pse see the STOP PRESS Note below)
d) Friday 14 Jan 2022 = 19th Admiral Soman Memorial Lecture in Asvini Auditorium followed by Lunch in the foyer of Asvini auditorium or IMSC. VAdm Pradeep Chauhan, AVSM & Bar, VSM (Retd ) DG National Maritime Foundation will be the Guest Speaker. As always, CinC as Patron NFMC would be invited to be the Chief Guest.
BEST WISHES FOR 2022
Eleanor Roosevelt famously has quipped, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. Even as we glance back at 2021 and the Veterans Day events planned in a grand style in Jan 2022, let’s dream of a great 2022. Let’s pray for Kindness and Courage for the people of the World. Its not the Stars that foretell our Future, but our belief in ourselves.
On behalf of the President and all Committee members of NFMC here’s Wishing a Grand New Year 2022 of new Dreams, new Hopes, and new Aspirations to all the Veterans and Veer Naris.
Sam No Varunah
STOP PRESS: Cdr Vijay Vadhera had a marathon meeting with ACS(Home), ACS(Health), PS (DM), DCP(Ops), DCP(Traffic) on 29 Dec. Due to the exponential jump in VoC Omicron, the permission for Veteran Day Parade on Marine Drive / Chowpatty has been denied. The Parade stands cancelled for 09 Jan 2022.
PS- Photography and Videography Courtesy @Meena Dutta.
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