Indian Army stands strong in minus temperature

Indian Army stands strong in minus temperature
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NASHIK: The recent cold wave in Nashik District shook each of us tremendously. From wearing double sheets to sleep to sunbathing for at least half an hour, the cold wave literally gave us a chill down the spine.

However, while we sleep peacefully, the Indian Army protects our country 24 by 7. Be it -1 degree or -17 degrees; the harsh cold can't shake the Indian Army. Even though the recent temperature in Jammu and Kashmir is touching -10 degrees, and -31 degrees in Siachen Glacier, the Indian Army stands strong as a pillar at the borders to protect their motherland.

In one of the recent videos, the Indian Army performed 'Khukuri Dance' in the snow-covered ranges in the Tangdhar sector of Kupwara District, Kashmir, where the current temperature is hovering around -5 degrees celsius, accompanied by snowfall. To understand how do these strong pillars remain unshaken during low temperatures, what kind of training do they receive, and how many difficulties they face, Deshdoot Times spoke to a few ex-servicemen.

High spirit

"No matter where we get posted, our spirits always remain high. Be it Siachen Glacier's cold or Jaisalmer's heat, we keep going due to our high spirits. I have spent two years in Siachen Glacier, and it is difficult to survive at such a high altitude as one can't breathe properly. However, the government and Indian Army provides superior quality equipment for protection and care. Even though the Indian Army doesn't provide any specific training to survive in such adverse conditions, they provide enough briefing and acclimatization regarding the survival and health that help the troops survive. Even the food is of great quality, but one doesn't feel like eating at such a high altitude. No one craves sweet items. Instead, everyone craves spicy items like namkeen, papad, dry fruits, etc. The feeling of togetherness and high josh (determination) binds everyone serving together, and it feels like home. There's unity and strength among everyone. We become a family, and we celebrate and fight together. Above all, it's our duty to serve our motherland." - Major Gen (Retd) Cyrus Pitthawala

Sense of duty

"The sense of duty is extremely strong among jawans and every member of Indian Army. For jawans, Commanding Officer's order is the final order; and they abide by it willingly. It is the level of trust and faith they have in the General of Command, and they know that their heads know what is best for them. Even if there's a shortage of any equipment/item, they know they will receive the required items as soon as possible. They keep their morale high and face the harsh weather with a strong mindset. Even though it is difficult to survive in such extreme weather conditions, the Indian Army briefs and acclimatizes them, thus making the process a bit easier for them. However, in the end, it's their sense of duty and dedication that keeps them going." - Brig (Retd) Jagdishchandra Bagul

Improved facilities

"Now, facilities and equipment have evolved according to the needs. While I was serving in 1975 as a second lieutenant, things were different and harsh weather conditions made the situation worse. I served during the Kargil War operation and in many other operations. During our time, we had to carry 11-12 kg of oxygen cylinder up to the glacier, and now, it weighs around 1.5-2 kg. If we reported any casualties, it almost took three weeks to reach base camp. Now, the air ambulance has made things easier. The troops work under extreme weather conditions where the temperature drops to -70 degrees celsius. At such a high altitude, due to lack of oxygen and chilling cold, soldiers suffer from chilblains, the cardiovascular system gets affected, and suffer from other problems as well. Nevertheless, it is important to protect our motherland and guard ranges, including Siachen Glacier that lies in the Karakoram Range and act as a sentinel to protect our country. Army supplies them essentials like high altitude rations that include high nutrient chocolates, dry fruits, etc. In the end, it is the soldier's self-esteem that keeps them going in such harsh conditions." - Brig (Retd) Harish Chande

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