PM Narendra Modi celebrates Diwali with Indian Army personnel at Siachen Base Camp

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Siachen Base Camp.

Siachen, Oct 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday praised the valour and courage of Indian Armed Forces at Siachen Base Camp at a height of over 12,000 feet, and said that 125 crore Indians could celebrate Diwali today, and go about their lives in comfort, because the jawans stood guard at the borders, prepared to make every sacrifice for the nation.

The Prime Minister said he had come unannounced, and the jawans may be surprised, but one does not need to announce arrival when coming to one`s own (family).

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Siachen Base Camp

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Siachen Base Camp, during his surprise visit to Siachen on October 23, 2014. Photo courtesy: PMO

He said the jawans at Siachen worked in one of the remotest places in the world, adding that it is a rare opportunity to be called upon to defend the country in such difficult conditions.

Narendra Modi said that he comes to Siachen as a representative of the family members of the jawans who are busy serving Mother India on the borders.

He said he is privileged that his first Diwali as Prime Minister will be spent partly with the jawans of Siachen, and partly with those affected by the floods in Srinagar.

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi sharing sweets with Indian Army Jawans on the occasion of Diwali, at Siachen Base Camp.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sharing sweets with Indian Army Jawans on the occasion of Diwali, at Siachen Base Camp. The Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh is also seen. Photo courtesy: PMO

The Prime Minister said the Indian Armed Forces were unique – because while they spelt trouble for the enemy on the battlefield, they spelt life for all the countrymen affected by disasters or natural calamities. He recalled the immense contribution made by the Armed Forces during the recent floods in Srinagar.

The Prime Minister also appreciated the fact that women too were now contributing to the Indian Armed Forces in a significant way.

Sharing the pain and anguish of those who lose their loved ones in these difficult conditions, the Prime Minister said sometimes a body is found years later, and many still wait. He said one has to witness first-hand, the conditions at Siachen to appreciate the hardship that the jawans go through.

The Prime Minister assured the jawans that wherever they are, and serving or retired, the country stands shoulder to shoulder with them. He said their dreams and responsibilities are the entire country`s responsibility. He said he would do his utmost to ensure a life of dignity for them.

The Prime Minister said the promise of One Rank, One Pension had been fulfilled, and preparations were being made for a National War Memorial, that we could all be proud of.

He wished the entire country “Happy Diwali” from the icy heights of Siachen, adding that as countrymen light diyas today, they should recall that the warmth of the earthen lamps has been fuelled by the sweat and toil of the jawans of the Indian Armed Forces.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shaking hands with the Officers and Jawans at Siachen Base Camp.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shaking hands with the Officers and Jawans of the Indian Armed Forces, at Siachen Base Camp. The Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh is also seen. Photo courtesy: PMO

Let those jawans inspire the rest of the country to work towards achieving the dreams and aspirations of the common man, he added.

The Prime Minister later handed over a cheque for Rs. 5 lakh for the welfare of the jawans, and personally offered sweets to the jawans.

He wrote in the visitors` book, saying that the soldiers in uniform who guarded the nation`s frontiers in such difficult conditions were no less than `rishis` and sages. The Prime Minister was at Siachen Base Camp for over an hour.

(Goindianews Bureau/PIB)

 

 

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