Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat on Friday announced that the three services will carry out a series of activities to thank the “corona warriors” in India. Ensuing the orders, Indian Armed Forces carried out hundreds of activities at various locations across the country on ground, in water and air to salute the Corona warriors who have been steadfastly fighting to stop the spread of the virus on Sunday, May 3rd, 2020 in India.
The Corona warriors included doctors, nurses, hygiene and sanitation staff, police personnel, media and several others engaged in maintenance of essential services and supplies have steadfastly contributed to the national effort to prevent spread of COVID19.
The Warriors were risking their lives every day to ensure that basic amenities such as electricity and water are delivered to everyone, streets are clean, basic food items are available, no patient is returned untreated, law & order is maintained and those Indians stranded abroad are brought back and cared for at the earliest.
The Indian Armed Forces paid rich tributes to India’s Corona Warriors, in a unique military way since the morning of Sunday. From Srinagar to Thiruvananthapuram and Dibrugarh to Kachchh, the Army carried out various activities like laying wreath at the Police Memorials, honouring and felicitating health professions and emergency supply operatives. Visits to hospitals were carried out over hundreds of towns in all states from the local Army formations all over the Nation in small and big numbers by Army teams along with military bands which played patriotic tunes as a tribute to the Nation’s frontline warriors against Corona.
Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Agra, Amritsar, Belgaum, Ranikhet Pithoragarh among many metropolis, big and small townships saw the Army, Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF) and Coast Guard (ICG) visiting hospitals and paying tributes. The activities started with laying wreaths at the local police memorials, an event which is truly unprecedented and brings the forces closer to their uniformed brethren. Whole Country and all countrymen enjoyed this rich salute and poured wishes and love to the Armed Forces over social media.
The Armed Forces also organized multiple other events like fly past by fighter and transport aircrafts of the Indian Air Force (IAF) throughout the length and breadth of the country. The helicopters of IAF, Indian Navy and Coast Guard (ICG) showered flower petals on the hospitals treating COVID patients. Army and IAF bands visited COVID hospitals and played tunes in an expression of gratitude to the Corona Warriors.
Fighter aircraft formations, comprising of the Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-29 and Jaguar fly past over Rajpath and orbited over Delhi visible to the residents from their roof tops. In addition, C-130J Hercules transport aircraft also flew over the NCR skies.
Three aircraft formations of Indian Air Force (IAF) Su-30MKI, Mig-29 and Jaguar fighter jets as well as C-130 transport aircraft performed a fly-past on Rajpath in the national capital. In all, the IAF confirmed around 35 aircraft were utilized, which includes 10 fighters, four transport aircraft and 20 helicopters. IAF helicopters dropped flower petals in 20 cities and 58 hospitals across India.
Indian Navy and Coast Guard expressed their gratitude and salute for the Corona Warriors – On Land, Air and at Sea. The Navy and ICG ships formed formations near shores at select locations. Ships will be illuminated at 25 locations covering the entire coastline of the country including the remote sites and far flung island territories of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, and Minicoy islands.
“The event organized today was a Salute to the unflinching spirit of the corona warriors who have worked with utter disregard to their own safety and contributed towards the national effort to contain the spread of pandemic. This was the Coast Guard way of acknowledging the efforts of those who are in the forefront of this very different kind of challenge” said, a senior official Indian Coast Guard (Western Region)
On land, Indian Navy’s station commanders and senior officers across the three Commands (Western, Southern and Eastern Naval Commands) and in Andaman and Nicobar Command met the Health Care professionals, policemen, sanitation workers, and other frontline Corona Warriors to convey the appreciation on behalf of the Indian Navy and applauded their efforts in successfully treating the COVID 19 patients and also thanked for their relentless efforts. At INS Hansa, Goa expressed their appreciation by forming a Human Chain and thank the Corona Warriors.
Earlier in the day, the SNC band played some famous numbers on a warship berthed opposite the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) and near the Vikrant-Venduruthy Bridge, epochal landmarks of Kochi. Naval Bands also performed on-board Ex-Viraat in Mumbai and in Visakhapatnam Harbour.
In the day at Kochi, as part of the Thanksgiving gesture, Chetak helicopter of the Navy showered flower petals on the District Hospital in Kochi. Subsequently, 07 aircraft flypast consisting of 02 Dornier aircraft, 01 SeaKing helicopter, 02 Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and 02 Chetak helicopters of Indian Navy was conducted over the city’s renowned landmark, Marine Drive which was immediately followed by steam past by 07 Fast Interceptor Crafts of the Navy, in the channel, displaying a banner thanking the Corona Warriors.
A Chetak helicopter from INS Dega, Vizag showered flower petals over Andhra Medical College, Govt Hospital for Chest and Communicable Diseases (GHCCD) and GITAM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (GIMSR). Indian Navy Chetak helicopters, also carried out flypast with showerin of petals over Kasturba Gandhi hospital and Asvini Naval hospital in Mumbai, followed by Goa Medical College and E.S.I Hospital.
Indian Naval aviation assets carried out fly past along with the Air Force and Coast Guard across various parts of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, also. The saga of maritime supremacy continues for Indian Navy at the Sea – INS Jalashwa and INS Savitri under the aegis of Eastern Naval Command on their Mission Based Deployments saluted the Corona Warriors for their relentless fight against the COVID pandemic mid-sea.
Whilst expressing his thoughts a Senior Naval Officer (WNC), said “This particular act of appreciation and solidarity to corona warriors in a whole day activity by the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Coast Guard is unprecedented in scale and thought. At a time when the entire nation is consolidated in their actions to overcome the epidemic, this is a gesture that carries weight behind it we are in together and together we shall overcome. The covid warriors are in the frontline of this fight and it behoves the Forces to put their support to them“
On the other hand, Indian Navy personnel in Arabian Sea onboard Mission Deployed ships under Western Naval Command, expressed their appreciation and thanked the Corona Warriors.
At Southern Naval Command, steam-past by seven Fast Interceptor Crafts of the Navy, in the channel, in Kochi displaying a banner thanking the Corona Warriors were also witnessed. Indian Navy personnel at INS Hansa, Goa, and INS Vikramaditya expressed their appreciation by forming a Human Word Chain and thanked the Corona Warriors.
25 Indian Naval warships across nine port cities including those in Andaman & Nicobar Islands carried out illumination from 7:30 PM on that day, as reported.
(The writer is a Delhi-based independent contributor to print and online publications )
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