ARMY-PEOPLE RELATIONSHIP IN J&K

RAJNI SHARMA:

The Indian Army has time and again lived up to its tradition of valour, heroism, sacrifice and fortitude. It stands vigil along the border, watchful, prepared for any sacrifice so that the people of the country may live in peace and with honour. The Indian Army is that and much more.
The Indian Army soldier is infused by a set of values that make the soldier willingly face a plethora of challenges and difficulties, and when the call may come, to give the ultimate sacrifice in the service of the Nation. The ethos of the Army is ingrained in all soldiers with an unwavering will to succeed, accepting their grave responsibility and an unbridled ability to give their lives for others.
The people maintained an unremitting faith in the soldiers, despite very sophisticated psychological warfare by the enemy to create a rift between the public and the Army. The Army, on its part, remained steadfast in its intent to provide a secure environment that would facilitate the people to lead a normal life without any fear or inhibition. It made great sacrifices in blood to attain this objective. Thankfully, the people and the forces are standing on the threshold of success with terrorism ..
Presently, the nation has taken on the responsibility of usher fast track, sustainable development in the newly create Union Territories. However, the people continue to look towards the Army for succour and the soldier is only too happy to remain forthcoming.
The winters leave the Ladakh region cut off from the world. Traditionally, the Army has been carrying out sports and other activities during the winter months to keep the morale of its own soldiers and the civilians high.The Indian Army launched a special operation called Mission Reach Out to provide assistance to the people and ensure peace in the newly created Union Territory.
The mission, thus, became an addition to the multifarious activities carried out by the Army in Jammu and Kashmir over the past three decades to win over the hearts and minds of the residents and wean away the youth from Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.
The Army has continued with its pro-people activities under operation ‘Sadbhavana’ (goodwill) despite the challenging situation.
The activities were intensified when “Mission Reach Out” was launched after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.Take any field, the Army is at the forefront and helping locals, students and unemployed youth to achieve their goals, honing skills of sportsmen by organising sports events and functions to promote communal harmony and providing medical assistance at doorsteps.
Through the year, which saw tensions along the Line of Control and International Border due to frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan to push armed infiltrators, the army stepped up vigil on the borders but also kept its focus on reaching out to the people.With the introduction of “Mission Reach Out” in August, the Army intensified its civic-action programmes across Jammu and Kashmir to ensure peace and anti-social and anti-national elements are not allowed to mislead the public.
The Army is running 43 goodwill public schools, where 15,000 students are enrolled, and three specialised training-cum-coaching centres. The Army also organised over 120 sporting events for the youth.
A total of 200 medical camps, 90 veterinary camps, 100 capacity-building tours within and outside Jammu and Kashmir, integrating students and opinion makers to national mainstream were some of the highlights of the Army activities during the outgoing year.
The Army conducted two major recruitment rallies post-August, one each in Samba and Reasi districts in Jammu region, to provide an opportunity to the youth to join the Army. The Army also reached out to ex-soldiers and conducted 35 rallies to address their issues.

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