There was no hope left till the boys from 63 RR saw them! It was a foregone conclusion that something was on its way for those who were not mobile as we are!
‘Part of the problem with the word ‘disabilities’ is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.’
But there is a hope for them also. It comes when the India Army patrols foot the uphill distance lugging something that makes a person mobile and gives him the inner joy, a spark in the eyes and an unforgettable once in a blue moon smile, the beaming cheek to cheek one. That is what the Indian Army does and they did it yet again.
If you want the impossible to be made possible then there is a hope on the horizon and in the interiors of Rajouri a hope is always there when the officers and the men from Indian Army are around!
Kalakote was in no way an easy place when the hills around were manned by Bakht Zameen’s men from the terrorist group Al Badr. The situation was terrible and the people were absolutely psyched out with fear and terror.
The same continued for a few years till the avengers stepped in to put their boots on the gas pedals.
The chase up hill was on and the terrorists were on the run. It had to be a long haul and it was. Things changed for the good and normalcy began to trickle in.
The process was slow but surely it was steady and thus the fear factor began to get evaporated. But still the cause of concern was to get the populace back on to the rails.
They stayed up on the hills where their houses were perched up in the slopes and they had to be reached. They were poor, had no exposure to bigger things in life and were living a life that was dependent upon the fact that ‘if tomorrow comes’ because today they had lived.
It was here that the Indian Army’s representative the Sixty third Rashtriya Rifles Battalion got their act together and the windmills of the Gods began moving yet again. This time the breeze blowing was cool instead of the steaming heat which terror had unleashed.
Aim number two was set into motion and that was to lift the population. The transition period was tricky but these officers and men from Bihar Regiment (63 RR is composed of boys from Bihar) pulled out all the stops and Kalakote began to look the same old place which it was when hell broke loose.
Things were getting ironed out but there was a section of the society who had the problems of mobility. It was a pitiable sight seeing them moving out with agony though the smile on their face trying to hide the pain.
But hiding the same from the guys who know what pain is was difficult. The Army began working on it? Mobility is a necessity and those who cannot move about lets be honest are treated as a liability in modern day times.
But soon these people would also be on wheels moving about, no one ever thought. But the fact is that being mobile was written in their fate and today they were supplied with the equipment which even in their wildest of dreams they could not have thought that they could ever get! But they did and we will tell you how.
Everyone has read about Hellen Keller (Keller was afflicted at the age of 19 months with an illness (possibly scarlet fever) that left her blind and deaf. She was examined by Alexander Graham Bell at the age of 6. As a result, he sent to her a 20-year-old teacher, Anne Sullivan (Macy) from the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston, which Bell’s son-in-law directed. Sullivan, a remarkable teacher, remained with Keller from March 1887 until her own death in October 1936) and once she said this, ‘it has been said that life has treated me harshly; and sometimes I have complained in my heart because many pleasures of human experience have been withheld from me…if much has been denied me, much, very much, has been given me’! Well she did it in her own way and these people also did it in a similar way. Toiled in life, never asked for something they deserved, even if they had requested who would have listened to them but someone was. I will not elaborate as to who it was. This is what happened in the forlorn but beautiful hills of Kalakote today:
In order to extend helping hand to specially disabled people living in remote villages of Rajouri, Indian Army’s Kalakote based Rashtriya Rifles battalion in association with Vardhman Industries, Ludhiana distributed wheel chairs among fifty identified specially disabled persons.
Perhaps the officer led patrols and the unit RMO and men singled them out to help them so that they could also get mobile. In the Army you need not tell these sturdy people they know what they have to do.
Under this initiative, village level functionaries were contacted to help Army’s patrols to reach out to the patients and their families and evaluate the requirements.
Indian Army acting as a bridge between the providers and needy ensured transportation of fifty wheel chairs from Ludhiana to Kalakote, Rajouri onwards to each house premises where someone wanted the facility.
Army said that its patrol teams carrying wheelchairs reached at the doorstep of all identified specially disabled people and handed over them wheelchairs giving them a memorable reason to smile for the rest of their lives.
Trust me had the Army not spotted them the mobility factor in their lives would have conveniently been cancelled but it could not have been.
As far as disability goes I will not go beyond Helen Keller, ‘I am conscious of a soul-sense that lifts me above the narrow, cramping circumstances of my life. My physical limitations are forgotten- my world lies upward, the length and the breadth and the sweep of the heavens are mine! Indeed this was a great help to these children of lesser God’s but I’m sure there would have been some encouraging words from the officers and men on this ‘mission mobility’ like I mentioned above from the great lady. Positivity is a thing which is inborn an Army man and these men from 63 RR have time and again come out some great stunners. This was yet another one from their quiver full of surprises that bring joy to the people!