Army personnel on roads less travelled...

Interaction: Expedition to make jawans and officers understand the civil society better

Memories associated with the four districts of Ramanagar, Mandya, Mysore and Coorg have kept them all charged up.

The ‘Soaring 16’ team led by Captain Ashwini Kumar have just completed their tour of four districts and are on their way back to Bangalore, where they have been put up right now.

The tour is part of the army’s initiative to make the soldiers and officers study and understand the topography of the region, the custom, tradition of people in the region. Talking to Deccan Herald, the group captain and the jawans shared their experiences of the tour and said the trip gave them a rich insight into lifestyle, social and economic status of the people of the region and most importantly the topography - the terrains and the rich landscape.

Captain Ashwini Kumar said the tour provided them a good exposure of civil society. “The army personnel live an isolated life during their deputation on the borders and related lines of duty. There is very little interaction with the civil society. Hence, the military holds such expeditions which can provide the jawans and officers the understanding of civil society,” he says.

The team began the expedition on cycle on Dec 6. They visited rural parts of Ramanagar and interacted with the school children and teachers.

The team also spoke to the villagers on various issues concerning the lifestyle, tradition and customs across the region. “We found that children are interested in joining defence forces. One of the objective of tour is also to tell the youth to opt for a career with defence and ask teachers, parents to encourage their wards for it,” the Captain said.

Havaldar Bhai, who hails from Gujarat said the interaction with children across districts was a rich experience. “We also got to know about the education system in the region,” he says. Subedar Visveshwara Nayak opines that such expeditions are important as jawans can be better prepared to meet challenges if they know the topography and terrains, if they are called for emergencies or during natural disaster. Another jawan Rajesh Kumar who is from Bihar says he thought of sharing some of good lessons learnt in the region with his villagers back home.

Coorg hospitality

Recalling the trekking at the second highest peak in state, Tadiyanda Mol mountain near Coorg, Captain Ashwini Kumar said it was a challenge for all the team members to trek the mountain. “The Coorg is bestowed with thick forest, valleys and coffee estates. It was a wonderful sight from the peak of the mountain. We could see Tamil Nadu forest on one side, Karnataka forest on the other and also a glimpse of the Arabian sea,” Ashwini Kumar said.

The hospitality of the people of Coorg would be a memorable for a lifetime, he says adding that they would compile their experiences to share it with their regiment in Delhi.
The ‘Soaring 16’ team were in city on Sunday to be honoured at the Raising Day of CEFAK.

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