Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kids’ marathon marks Vijay Diwas celebrations

Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, December 19
A students marathon of 431 school-children, including 125 girls, marked the celebration of Vijay Diwas at the historic Indo-Pak War Memorial at village Asafwala here on Sunday.The programme was jointly organised by the Shaheedon Ki Samadhi Committee and the Army formations at Fazilka.Brigadier Arul Dennis flagged off a nine kilometer marathon for boys while social activist Sudesh Kumari Nagpal flagged off a two kilometer race for girls.

Later on, wreaths at the sanctum sanctorum in the memorial complex were placed by chief guest, Punjab Cabinet Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani, Brigadier Arul Dennis, additional deputy commissioner Charandev Singh Maan, Commanding Officer, 12 Dogra, Colonel Pankaj Dhayani (Kirti Chakra), Commanding Officer, 10 Jakrif, Colonel Anil Yadav, Commanding Officer, 18 Garhwal Rifle, Colonel Rajesh Sah (Vir Chakra), Shaheedon Ki Samadhi Committee president Sandeep Gilhotra and other senior officials and dignitaries of the Fazilka area.

"The war memorial of Asafwala is a most serene, pious place of obeisance and a great source of patriotic inspiration," described Surjit Kumar Jyani described while addressing the gathering.

He lauded the efforts of the Shaheedon Ki Samadhi Committee for maintaining the memorial and Armymen for their co-operation in organising a grand Vijay Diwas programme. He presented a cheque of Rs 5 lakhs for facelift of the memorial.

Brigadier Arul Dennis, while paying glowing tributes to the martyrs of the Indian army, called upon the youth to make a disciplined effort for the progress and development of the country.

"The civilians too should follow the pattern of the army and be disciplined in discharging their duties while working for the building for the nation," said ADC Charandev Singh Maan.

A colourful patriotic cultural programme was presented by the students of the Government Girls Senior Secondary School, the Jyoti B.Ed College, the DAV B.Ed. College, the Shri Guru Hari Krishan ITI College.

A play on martyrs Bhagat Singh Rajguru and Sukhdev, a mime on terrorism and individual song by Suchita Trikha left the audience spell-bound and emotional.The dignitaries distributed cycles to winners of first and second positions of the marathon while 16 other students, eight each from boys and girls, were given consolation prizes.

The war memorial is a site to commemorate the supreme sacrifices of 225 army jawans of 4 Jat, 15 Rajput and 3 Assam Regiments, who had laid down their lives while defending the country in the 1971 Indo-Pak war in Fazilka sector.

The collective cremation of 82 jawans of 4 Jat Regiment was performed at the site of the memorial after the cease- fire on December 16, 1971. The indebted residents of Fazilka town with their own efforts had raised a memorial for "The Saviours of Fazilka" on a small piece of land.

The memorial has been in due course of time developed in an area of about 5.5 acres comprising a unique war memorial museum, a community centre, a children's park, a high school and a dispensary.

Uma Sharma, Public Relations Officer, Chandigarh, retired SDM BL Sikka and senior vice-president of the Samadhi Committee Amar Chand Bhateja, traced a brief history of the war and subsequent raising up of the memorial.


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