Srinagar: The Army, once referred to as an occupational force by the Kashmiri locals, has become a part of daily life in Kashmir today. It is welcomed and loved by all Kashmiri people now.
Even the people of Sopore, once known as the so-called Chota Pakistan and home town of late pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani, are all praises for the Indian Army. The Indian Army and the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been partners through all travails and challenges that the state and its people have faced till now.
On Tuesday morning, locals of Sopore, near Sangerhama rescued soldiers, who were injured in a road accident. Four soldiers of the Army were injured when gypsy they were travelling in had a collision with a Dumper vehicle near Sangerhama in Sopore. The injured soldiers were rescued by the locals and later shifted to MI Room of Army in a nearby camp.
The locals and other travelers at the spot rescued our injured people, a senior Army official told the New Indian. They carried out their act despite the fact it was raining/snowing.
New generation of Kashmiris has grown up living next door to us (military camps) while we too (Army) have learnt more about dealing with the (persisting situation in the) Valley, said another senior officer. He said in case of any calamity, soldiers are there to help round the clock. In case of a fire incident or any calamity, our boys remain alert and help the local population.
The Army, said the senior officer, has set up a ‘feedback and grievances’ helpline in the Kashmir valley as part of its efforts to strengthen the bond with the people.
The helpline has been set up under the aegis of Chinar Corps or 15 Corps – responsible for guarding the Line of Control in the valley. As part of Army’s efforts to further strengthen the bond of friendship between the Aawam and Jawan, a ‘feedback and grievances’ helpline has been established under the aegis of Chinar Corps, the officer said, adding that the contact can also be established through Telegram application.
A humsaya (companion) to the Awaam, in good times and through any challenge, the Awaam-Jawan greater synergy will go a long way in establishing peace and prosperity for all, he added.
It needs to be mentioned that the initiatives undertaken by the Army under its flagship civilian welfare project, Operation Sadbhavna, have brought it into close contact with the youth of Kashmir. The many sporting and vocational training activities carried out under Operation Sadbhavna and the assistance provided in medical and other spheres gives to the Army an opportunity to interact with the youth and set them on the path of productivity and progress.
Further, civilians work as porters and provide their ponies in the mountainous regions; young boys service the transport needs by Civil Hired Transport; many traders are involved in providing supplies. All join together to make the Army the formidable fighting machine that it is today in the state.
By using these assets, the Army is creating meaningful employment for the locals while also relating with them very closely and contributing to the economy of the state.