Pune, November 6, 2023: Ahead of the Diwali festival, city-based Sneh-Seva and Maitreya Charitable Society organized an initiative called ‘ Diwali Faral for Soldiers’. Around 7000 sweets and snack boxes were sent to the soldiers posted at remote border areas in the Northern and Northeastern borders of the country.
This is the 28th year of this initiative under the project ‘ Sainik Sneh’. A formal program was organized by Sneh-Seva on Sunday, November 5 at Nivara Old Age home in Navi Peth, Pune. Soldiers representing 10 battalions accepted sweet boxes at the hands of the honourable guests Lt. Gen. Madhuri Kanitkar (retd), PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Honorable Vice-Chancellor of Maharashtra State University of Health Sciences, and Lt. Gen. Rajeev Kanitkar (retd) PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM. Shri Shrikrushna Chitale, head of Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale, Nilima Bhadbhade, President of Sneh Seva, Dr. Radha Sangamnerkar, its Vice President, Sunita Wagh, its Secretary, and Arvind Bhadkamkar, its Treasurer, and Dr. Dinesh Kumar Pande, the Program head of Sainik Sneh were present on this occasion.
Speaking on this occasion, Lt. Gen Rajeev Kanitkar said, ” The Indian government has set a goal that India will become a developed nation by 2047. To fulfill this goal, the participation of every citizen is necessary. For this, every citizen in the country must learn two things from the defense forces. One is self-discipline, and the other is responsibility. When every citizen learns these two things, our country will become a developed country.
He described the logistic challenges faced by the Indian Army in the northern areas. Lt. Gen. Kanitkar said, “The border area in the northern parts of our country consists of remote and hilly areas at a very high altitude. The biggest challenge for the Army here is that of Logistics. Supplying essentials to the border posts in this terrain is very difficult and challenging because of unpredictable weather conditions, disruption in road connectivity, communication challenges, storage, climatic challenges, etc. The northern and northeastern borders have different sets of challenges, and our soldiers are guarding our borders despite the adverse conditions.”
Lt. Gen. (retd.) Madhuri Kanitkar praised the organizers for this initiative. She also spoke about Operation Co-Jeet, the operation that gave Jeet over COVID-19, and Jeet by Cooperation. It was a mammoth operation put together by the efforts of all three Indian defense forces during the COVID-19 pandemic period to set up COVID treatment beds, restore oxygen supplies, and help front-line warriors control the pandemic. There were challenges in public healthcare infrastructure, and human resources, bringing the forces to the same platform. She described the role of the DRDO in setting up in three weeks and operating the largest COVID makeshift hospital in Delhi, a system replicated in other major cities in India.
Subhedar Kailas Satpute, a representative of Indian army soldiers said, “Even in today’s digital age, soldiers working at the remote border areas do not have access to mobile phones. They stay away from their family and friends, and for years they are unable to celebrate any festival with the family. At such a time receiving these gifts, sweets, letters, and greeting cards will not only give them the joy of the festival but also inspire them by making them believe that society is always with them. This is an overwhelming feeling for every soldier.”
This program was moderated by Mrs. Sudha Javadekar and Principal Sham Bhurke expressed a vote of thanks