The respect towards the Indian Army is increasing day and day and we couldn’t have asked for better protection from them who maintain a permanent military base in the region at an altitude of above 6000 m above the sea level- Siachen which is the world’s highest battlefield.
Indian soldiers are the real heroes who risk their lives to give real-life protection to their nation. They are considered among the very best in high altitude and mountain warfare and despite the extreme weather conditions, they protect the nation like a shield.
At such an altitude, one of the challenges that our soldiers face is the lack of oxygen. Knowing this, an elderly couple from Pune has done something for the soldiers only to help them breathe much easier in Siachen.
It has been four years since they undertook the work of installing the oxygen-generation plant in Siachen for the Indian Army, the couple has finally fulfilled their commitment with the official inauguration of the camp this month.
The elderly couple- Yogesh Chithade and Sumeedha Chithade who have been operating Soldiers Independent Rehabilitation Foundation (SIRF) since 1997 for the welfare of soldiers, accumulated the total funds of approximately Rs 2 crore for the oxygen generation plant through crowdfunding.
The couple also sold off their expensive jewellery last year to help construct a plant to make it possible for soldiers to protect themselves in the extreme weather conditions in Siachen, located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas.
Yogesh Chithade who is a former Air Force official disclosed that he got the idea of the oxygen generation plant from Paramveer Chakra awardee Captain Bana Singh after the latter spoke about the breathing problems faced by soldiers in Siachen.
“The idea came from Captain Bana Singh who was posted in Siachen. There was a post which was captured by Bana Singh and renamed Bana Post. Singh had once visited our house and celebrated Raksha Bandhan. He narrated about the lack of oxygen in Siachen,” he told news agency ANI.
“We made up our mind in 2015 that we had to fulfil our commitment to the brave soldiers of the country. We even had planned to sell the house to arrange funds. Around 20,000 people will be benefitted,” Chithade was quoted as saying by ANI.
The oxygen plant was inaugurated in Siachen on October 4. Chithade echoed that the aim of SIRF is to assist people in armed forces and their families.
“We will do anything for them. They don’t ask for anything from us. But it is our duty. We have to help him after identifying their needs. We give financial help and moral support. We send boxes of 15-kilogram sweets on border posts on Diwali every year,” he added in a statement.
Sumeedha who is a teacher by profession has been working for army welfare since the year 1999 and added that she was immensely inspired by the work armed forces do for India and she started thinking about the plant when she learnt about the breathing problem in Siachen.
“We have been working for families of armed forces. They are working in extreme working conditions When we came to know of the problems faced by the soldiers, we started mulling about installing an oxygen generation plant in 2015. There is no place for religion in armed forces, there is only humanity,” she said.
(With ANI inputs)