Ajeets in the Ranges of Peer Panjaal…

PRS Chakravarthi I/C Adventure club

In the ranges of Peer Panjaal, on the banks of the river Jhelum, along the snowy slopes of Gulmarg, by the scenic side of Daal Lake and at the forward posts of Chaukas and Nanak Ghar, we really felt the fever of Kashmir, the paradise on the Earth.

In April, 2006 I got the opportunity to lead a team of 20 cadets of class XI along with the JCO Sub Sandipan Lokare to the 19 Infantry Division located at Jammu and Kashmir. An accomplished Ajeet and the first General officer from the Ajeeth fraternity Maj. Gen. Ramesh Halgali, SM, is the General Officer commanding. This Infantry Division is known as Dagger’s Division. Moreover, our beautiful tour was due to the initiative and liaison of our Principal and Head Master and keenness of Gen. Halgali.

The aim of our visit was clear. It was to give a first hand exposure of Indian Army in Kashmir to our cadets. Nevertheless, the outcome turned to be more than expected. Our cadets could visit all the places of J & K that every Indian dreams. Be it skiing at Gulmarg, or the jolly ride on highest Gondola in the world (13400 ft), playing with the snowballs, or trekking along LC fence, or visiting of Kaman Aman Sethu, or the INSAAS firing at Uri range. Every bit of our visit was meticulously planned.

Our cadets could meet people; interact with the children of the local schools at Uri, Baramulla and Sultan Daki. They also participated in debate, drawing and cultural competitions. They mesmerized the people over there with enthralling performance of legim dance.

Along with the places of importance in Kashmir, we could also see and appreciate the activities of Indian Army against the geographical and social odds. Personally, I liked the concept of Operation Sadbhavana (OP Sadbhavana). This operation is an initiative taken up by the Army to create goodwill among the people of Kashmir by assisting the civilian populace in assuaging their hardships through various development projects. OP Sadbhavana activities include Primary education, Secondary and tertiary health care, Community development and Empowerment of women. The Army is providing medical aid to not only the local people free of cost, but also their livestock and cattle. Over the years Army has made itself identifiable with the problems and concerns of the local people by its involvement in building bridges, roads, schools; providing electricity, water, communication facilities and amenities. In a simple sentence, in the state of J & K Indian Army is doing what a Government has to do.

There were number of occasions when we felt extremely proud of our Army. For instance, after the deadly Earthquake, our soldiers at the border had recovered very fast. They got the advanced, quakeproof and light FRP hutments. They also helped the local people to re-build their houses, while the enemy soldiers across the boarder still living under temporary tents. Most wonderfully, they re-constructed the damaged Kaman Aman Sethu in a record time of eight hours. Thus, repeatedly our Army has proved to be the best in the world.

The height of the five-day long visit was the campfire and the dinner at the Dagger Cottage, the official residence of the GOC. The warmth and the affection of the General were unforgettable. We could feel his love for the school, for the staff and cadets in every movement of him. With promising hearts, we started our return journey to Bijapur the next day. I have deep faith in my heart that visits as this would create great impact in the young minds and motivate them to fulfill the prime aim of our school. The belief kept on us acts as a catalyst towards that endeavor.

Jai Hind

Sunday, July 26, 2009